Following her US Open victory which gained national attention particularly because of her conspicuous face mask campaign against racial injustice and discrimination, Naomi Osaka visited her father’s homeland of Haiti this month.
Though details of her recent visit have been kept largely private so far, it is being reported she visited the Caribbean nation to let her hair down and also shoot a portion of her Netflix docuseries which will cover her personal life and professional career over the year.
“To be able to tell my story and let people in during this big year, working with a team that really understands me, has been a rewarding experience,” the 22-year-old said in a statement announcing the docuseries in February, Variety reported. “It won’t look like a traditional sports documentary, and I’m so excited to share it with everyone.”
Take a look at some exclusive photos of Osaka’s recent visit to the Caribbean island below:
Her sister also shared photos and videos of the trip:
Born in Osaka to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, Osaka moved to the United States at the age of three with her family. At the age of 16, she rose to prominence and qualified for her first Grand Slam in 2016 at the Australian Open. But the female star, who has chalked huge successes in her career, has her father, Leonard Francois, to thank for.
Francois, while watching the French Open in 1999, got fascinated by the skills exhibited by sisters Venus and Serena Williams, who were just 18 and 17 respectively – and would later win the women’s doubles title during that year.
Francois, from the game, also learned that their father, Richard Williams, doubles as their trainer even though he had never played tennis. Wanting the same sports stardom for his daughters, Francois, who had played little tennis, came up with a plan to turn his girls into champions.
In 2006, he relocated the family from Long Island to Florida and soon began training his daughters – Naomi and Mari – full time during the day, mostly on outdoor clay courts while they homeschooled at night.
Although the girls have lived in Florida since their tender ages, Francois decided to have his daughters play for Japan, where they were born, and this was largely due to funding.