Naomi Osaka, still just 22, is the US Open 2020 tournament winner for female category, . She defeated Victoria Azarenka two sets to one to claim her third Grand Slam. (It was a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory). During competition she was wearing masks bearing the names of Black people unjustly killed by police and civilians: Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain. When she was asked to explain her message once more her response was: “Well, what was the message you got?” Osaka has now won three of the past five hard-court grand slam tournaments and she is the youngest player to win a third grand slam title since Maria Sharapova in 2008.
She was born in Japan but grew up in the U.S.; her father is Haitian and her mother, Japanese; she relinquished her U.S. citizenship for Japan and plays under its flag but lives in Los Angeles and has been a vocal supporter of BLM. She emphatically describes herself as a Black woman, but also as multiracial. “I was thinking about all the times I’ve watched the great players sort of collapse onto the ground and look up into the sky,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to see what they saw,” the campion said. Ashe Stadium was nearly empty on Saturday, as it has been throughout this unusual U.S. Open where fans were not permitted because of the coronavirus pandemic.