Naomi Osaka is Giving Up U.S. Citizenship to Compete for Japan at 2020 Olympics

naomi osaka

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has officially announced that she will give up her U.S. citizenship to play for Japan in the upcoming 2020 Olympics.

The 21-year-old athlete, who was born to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, says becoming a Japanese citizen and representing her birth country in the Olympics is a “special desire.”

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“It is a special feeling to aim for the Olympics as a representative of Japan,” Osaka told NHK via BBC. “I think that playing with the pride of the country will make me feel more emotional.”

The two-time Grand Slam champion was born in Japan and was raised in the United States starting at the age of 3.

According to Japanese law, individuals who have dual citizenship will have to choose one before turning 22.

However, Osaka has to play for the country during one more national team competition organized by the International Tennis Federation before she is eligible to represent Japan in the Olympics, the Japan Tennis Association said.

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Xièxiè Beijing ❤️ #5

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Osaka, who is currently ranked third for women’s singles in the World Tennis Association, recently won the China Open on Sunday.

Osaka made headlines around the world after she defeated Serena Williams at the U.S. Open in 2018 and became the first Japanese woman to win a Grand Slam final.

A few months after defeating Williams, Osaka went on to take the championship from Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová at the Australian Open.

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