Osaka, who was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Haitian father but raised in the US, told NHK World in an interview that she began the process of becoming a Japanese citizen.
The Olympic Channel said Osaka, who plays under a Japanese flag in WTA events and in the Fed Cup, has told national broadcaster NHK that she has started proceedings to choose Japanese citizenship. Naomi Osaka is giving up her American citizenship and will compete for Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Tennis star Naomi Osaka has decided to choose Japanese over American nationality with an eye on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, public broadcaster NHK reported on Thursday.
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Japanese law stipulates that a Japanese with more than one nationality must choose one before turning 22 years old. The two-time Grand Slam champion will give up her USA citizenship to play for her birth country in her Olympic debut.
"I think I will be able to put more of my emotion into it by playing for the pride of the country", she continued.
Japan has never taken home a gold medal for tennis at the Olympics, and Osaka's debut at the 2020 Games may prove to be the nation's best shot at the title.
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She had a disappointing end to the US Open, getting eliminated in the Round of 16, but redeemed herself in the final of the China Open in the beginning of October, beating world No.1 Ashleigh Barty.
Osaka won the China Open on Sunday and is now the No. 3-ranked women's singles player in the WTA.
Osaka became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam previous year after beating Serena Williams at the US Open.
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