For years, Serena Williams had a solid grip over the women’s tennis world. Nobody can stay the best forever, so it was inevitable that a new star would rise. It appears that new star’s name is Naomi Osaka. The 23-year old, who is currently the No. 2 ranked women’s tennis player in the world, has become one of the biggest names in sports. Her career began to take off in 2018, after beating Serena at the U.S. Open, and her fame only continues to grow. It’s gotten to a point where people have begun to wonder if Naomi Osaka has a boyfriend.
Osaka’s current boyfriend is quite famous in his own right. She has been dating rapper YBN Cordae for two years and the couple appears to be going strong. Without further ado, let’s get to know more about Osaka’s rise to fame and her relationship with YBN Cordae.
Naomi Osaka’s parents, upbringing, and introduction to tennis:
Born in Chūō-ku, Osaka, Japan to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, Osaka and her sister Mari played tennis from a young age. When she was just three years old Osaka and her family moved to Long Island, New York.
Osaka’s father wanted to teach his daughters tennis because of what he saw Venus and Serena Williams accomplish. He knew that in order to train his children like the Williams sisters that he would need to relocate his family to Florida. While in Florida ,the Osaka daughters received some of the best training in the world. The rest is history.
Her rise to fame:
Osaka turned pro in 2013, at the age of 15. While she was good right off the bat, her first big win came in her tour debut against the No. 19 ranked player in the world, Samantha Stosur. Osaka continued to impress fans when she competed in the qualifier for the US Open at the age of 16. Although she didn’t make it past the qualifier, Osaka was officially on the tennis world’s radar.
Things really started to heat up for Osaka in 2016. Although she was only 17, she managed to win two matches at the U.S. Open, before losing to No. 9 ranked Madison Keys in the round of 32. After stringing together multiple impressive victories, Osaka entered the Top 50 and was named the WTA Newcomer Of The Year.
2017 was another big year for Osaka. Although she fell out of the Top 50 toward the end of the season, she had her biggest victories of her career up until that point. She defeated No. 6 ranked Angelique Kerber at the US Open and made headlines when she defeated No. 5 ranked Venus Williams at the Hong Kong Tennis Open.
At this point it became well known that Osaka had the potential to be one of the best tennis players in the world.
Naomi Osaka vs. Serena Williams:
2018 was a major year for Osaka. Not only did she beat Serena Williams, but she beat her twice. The first victory over Williams came at the Miami Open and the second, which made headlines for more reasons than one, came at the U.S. Open.
Osaka dominated the early rounds of the U.S. Open all the way up to the final, where she faced off against Serena. The match was very emotional and even controversial at times. Williams had a problem with the umpire after getting warned for receiving coaching during the match. Serena called the umpire a thief and tossed her racket in anger. Her behavior during the match earned her a total of $17,000 in fines.
After the match, both competitors were in tears. Osaka recognized that the majority of the fans in Arthur Ashe Stadium were rooting for Serena, saying “I’m sorry. I know that everyone was cheering for her, and I’m sorry that it had to end like this. I just want to say thank you for watching the match. Thank you.” Osaka added that “It was always my dream to play Serena in the US Open finals, so I’m really glad that I was able to do that. I’m really grateful that I was able to play with you. Thank you.”
Since winning that US Open, Osaka has solidified herself as one of the most famous tennis players in the world.
Naomi Osaka Instagram and net worth
Osaka’s fame now reaches well beyond the lines of the tennis court. She has 2.4 million followers on Instagram, where she posts relatively frequently. While many of her posts are tennis related, she also posts photos from her everyday life and modeling shoots as well. Checkout some of her photos below.
When you reach the level of fame that Osaka has, the money is going to come your way. In addition to crushing it in competition, Osaka also has endorsements from Nike, Nissan, and Mastercard. Despite being only 23 years old, Osaka already has an estimated net worth of $25 million.
Naomi Osaka’s boyfriend is rapper YBN Cordae
One of the most-asked questions about Osaka on the internet is whether or not she has a boyfriend. Unfortunately for those who thought they might have a chance with Naomi, she is in fact taken.
Osaka has been dating rapper Cordae from the YBN Collective for about two years. The two met, exchanged numbers and agreed to go to a Los Angeles Clippers game for their first date. They kept their relationship a secret for a year before revealing it to the public.
While they don’t post a ton of pictures together on their personal Instagram feeds, they seem like they enjoy each other’s company an awful lot.
Osaka’s boyfriend is her biggest fan
Despite not being much of a tennis aficionado, Cordae has been extremely supportive of Osaka. Naomi really appreciated Cordae taking time out of his busy schedule to make it to the U.S. Open. She said “honestly, he’s quite a romantic dude, I really appreciated that. I’m not sure if I’ve told him that. I feel like he actually really helped me win just, like, keeping up the motivation.”
Cordae appreciates Osaka’s perspective on the world saying, “Naomi was born in Japan. So she has a very worldly perspective. My perspective has always been being a young Black man in America. But she thinks more worldly. I’ve only been traveling the world the last two years. We’d be recommending each other books and movies all the time. So, you know, just always feeding the brain.”
Withdrawing from the French Open
Osaka decided not to meet with the media, citing mental health reasons. She said “I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one,” Osaka wrote on Twitter. “We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me.”
The French Open committee threatened Osaka with punishments and fines, which ultimately led to her withdrawing from the tournament. She has received a ton of support from the professional sports community. Stephen Curry took to Twitter to say “You shouldn’t ever have to make a decision like this-but so damn impressive taking the high road when the powers that be don’t protect their own. major respect”
Mental health conversations are coming up more and more often in sports and it’s important that we listen to the athletes.
What’s next for Osaka?
Although she’s currently taking a break, Osaka is only 23 and has many years of tennis ahead of her. At the moment, she has four Grand Slam Titles, but you better believe that she will continue to add to that number.
As for Osaka and Cordae, they seem like a great couple and we wish them the best of luck in the future.