Pokémon Fan, Beyoncé Fan... 12 Things You Didn't Know About Naomi Osaka
Just who is the new queen of the US Open?
At the US Open Grand Final, 20-year-old Naomi Osaka made history by winning her first Grand Slam, beating her childhood hero Serena Williams 6-2 6-4.
So who is the rising tennis star? Here's 12 things you need to know about Osaka.
1. She's the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam. Naomi was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, but was raised in the United States. She and her sister took their mother's last name because it was more practical for later life in Japan.
2. She and her sister Mari have been playing since a very young age. Mari's early career was slowed by injury, and she's now ranked 367th in the world.
3. Naomi and Mari's father, and coach, Leonard Francois, made the decision that they would play for Japan when Naomi was 13. Although videos of both girls had been circulating among coaches and agents, neither had much of a junior ranking or tournament experience, and the United States Tennis Association showed little interest in coaching them.
4. Francois said he trained Naomi and Mari like Serena and Venus Williams' father trained them. "The blueprint was already there," he told the New York Times. "I just had to follow it."
5. Naomi speaks Japanese, although she's deeply shy about speaking it in public. For that reason, her press conferences are in English only. She tweets in mostly English, but will sometimes releases statements in both languages.
6. Naomi is a Pokémon fan. She once told a reporter that her ambition was "to be the very best, like no one ever was." At the reporter's confusion, she explained: "I'm sorry, that's the Pokemon theme song. But yeah, to be the very best, and go as far as I can go."
7. She's also a Beyoncé fan.
8. And she has a trademark sense of humour (as if the Pokemon thing didn't give it away).
9. But she has one of the fastest serves in tennis. She served a 201.2 km/h serve at the US Open in 2016, making her equal tenth with Lucie Hradecka for the fastest recorded women's serve in the world. The fastest, by Spain's Georgina Garcia Perez, is 220 km/h.
10. Serena Williams described Naomi two years ago as one to watch, after the two faced each other at the Australian Open. She told reporters that her opponent was "a really good, talented player. Very dangerous."
11. Serena is Naomi's idol. Naomi revealed earlier this year the four word mantra that kept her steady in matches: "What would Serena do?" Prior to the US Grand Final, she told reporters that she was only thinking of playing against Serena during her semi-final match against Madison Keys, and her message to Serena was, "I love you." Five months earlier, she posted a photo of her shaking hands with her idol after losing to her in Miami, captioning it simply "Omg".
12. After the contentious Grand Slam ignited a conversation about sexism within the sport of tennis, Naomi was as gracious as ever. "There's been a lot going on but I just want to say, I was grateful to have the opportunity to play on that stage yesterday," she tweeted. "Thank you."