It’s a good time to be Naomi Osaka. She’s quickly moved up the ranks of the women’s tennis world to where she is now arguably the best player in the game. But while Osaka’s career prospects continue to look promising, she’s also got her life outside of athletics to think about.
Osaka recently made comments about her life after tennis. Here’s what she had to say about the simple life she hopes for following her career, which thus far has been outstanding.
Naomi Osaka’s tennis career overview
According to the WTA website, Osaka is currently ranked second overall in the world. She’s won over $19.5 million in prize money already in her short but impressive career.
Her career record is 243-133, with a 10-0 record in 2021 alone. She has won two Grand Slam tournaments so far: this year’s Australian Open and the 2019 U.S. Open. In both tournaments, she had to go through her hero Serena Williams to achieve victory. Osaka isn’t just active on the court, however.
Naomi Osaka’s life outside (and after) tennis
Outside of tennis, Osaka has been very vocal about issues related to social justice. It’s not an easy position for her to be in, as she plays in a sport long dominated by white people. In an interview with GQ, she commented on her approach to making her opinion known and the inherent challenges she faces:
“And then just accepting and realizing that tennis is a majority white sport, which is something that I knew growing up. Everyone sort of knows that. I feel like when people think about tennis, they think of Wimbledon and wearing white clothes and wooden rackets. So I’m hoping that, you know, as the years go on, that viewpoint changes.”
Osaka also talked about what she hopes for after she retires:
“Of course I’d like to have a family. I’m really grateful for it, but I’ve… I’ve never had to experience being famous. You know what I mean? Like, not being able to go anywhere or having to have a security person. So I’m really grateful to be in the position that I’m in, because I don’t think I would be able to handle it. So yeah, just chill somewhere with my family.”
The tennis star seems to be acutely aware of the pressures of fame, pressures she’s no doubt already had to deal with at the early stage of her career.
Other tennis stars and their life after tennis
Of course, Naomi Osaka isn’t the only tennis star to dream of a life after tennis. Steffi Graf dominated women’s tennis for a long time and was able to adapt to family life in her marriage to Andre Agassi.
Williams might not be officially retired, and though she still has plenty of game left in her, she’s likely closer to the end of her career than the beginning. She recently had a child as well and has handled that transition well.
For a player as well-liked and talented as Osaka, transitioning to family life after a career in the limelight may prove difficult. She’s got plenty of fame and notoriety, and if her career trajectory continues, her fame will only grow.
That means when she’s ready to retire, she’ll likely still garner plenty of attention from tennis fans worldwide. That sort of attention makes it harder to raise a family in peace.
That said, if others like Graf and Williams can balance their profile with a family, there’s no reason Osaka can’t as well. Of course, she has a long way to go before retirement. Osaka is just entering her prime, and she likely will do a lot of winning before hanging it up.