WASHINGTON, May 14, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
Two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka is a self-described foodie. The 22-year-old tennis star, born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother and now living and training in the United States, revealed in a Glamour interview this week that one of her favorite meals is simply “smoked salmon on a bagel.” Who knew?
With an extended time off tour during the Covid-19 shutdown of professional tennis, Osaka is savoring her time by developing her culinary skills. “When you’re on the road as much as I am, having the chance to be home and cook is really relaxing and comforting,” she told Glamour‘s Caitlin Brody.
Osaka has created a risotto dish she calls “RisottOsaka,” which she adapted after ordering different variations in restaurants during her time on tour. She describes her version as “a hearty meal.” Here’s how Osaka spins her version of it: “I love the texture of risotto … I added protein that you don’t normally find in risotto, changed up the cheese and I use sushi rice.”
Osaka suggests: “This is a good time to experiment and you can substitute items in this dish that you may have in the houes. You may have leftover steak or shrimp in the freezer, or you could add in chicken.”
— Glamour (@glamourmag) May 11, 2020
Virtual concert for a good cause
As first reported by baseline.tennis.com, Kristie Ahn, who has become a Tik-Tok performance artist during her downtime from playing tennis, and fellow American player Louisa Chirico, both New York natives, are helping raise money for Chef José Andés’ World Central Kitchen and its Covid-19 relief efforts by putting on “virtual concerts” for four weeks. The pair are randomly picking one song to record each week from requests submitted by listeners who donate to the campaign.
The first-week song picked was Coldplay’s 2000 mega-hit “Yellow.” The at-home duet featured Ahn on guitar and Chirico singing the lead vocal that was made famous by Chris Martin.
As of this writing, the duo has raised nearly $1,000 since starting their GoFundMe page on May 1.
“We wanted to pick an organization that would impact as many people as possible. WCK supports small businesses while also feeding those most in need: food-insecure families, seniors, healthcare workers,” Ahn and Chirico wrote on their GoFundMe page.
Music to Feed wk 1 cover: Yellow by Coldplay, requested by Courtney @FortyDeuceTwits. Reminder that proceeds for our fundraiser go to World Central Kitchen for COVID19 Relief.
3 weeks left to make a donation/request a song! Link in bio. @Louisa_Chirico https://t.co/6qmpFljT2M
— Kristie Ahn (@kristieahn) May 11, 2020
Interview with an umpire
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Victoria Chiesa, a feature writer for the WTA Tour website, has seized the opportunity to write some interesting and informative profiles of WTA chair umpires. Her latest, about Miri Bley, a native of Würzburg, Germany, debuted this week. As Chiesa tweeted: “In Germany’s decorated tennis history, never before had a 🇩🇪 woman attained gold badge status as a chair umpire. Enter Miri Bley. But has making history changed her life? Not really. ‘My friends still think I’m going on holidays all the time!’”
“They’d just said that for the chair umpire test that I had to come and do a practical — so I went. I passed, and I was basically in the right place at the right time.”
— wta (@WTA) May 12, 2020
Behind The Racquet – Coco Gauff
Last year was a breakout one for teen sensation Coco Gauff. It began with her first-round upset of Venus Williams at Wimbledon and took off from there. By October, she lifted her first WTA singles title at Linz, Austria, after winning her first doubles crown at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. Gauff, who was age 15 when she achieved her 2019 success, combined great maturity with physical talent on the court. In a recent essay for the Instagram series Behind The Racquet, as she explained: “Everyone asks me how I stay calm on court and I think it’s because I accepted who I am after overcoming low points in my life. Now, when I’m on court, I am just really thankful to be out there. Personally for me, I like playing for more than myself. One of the biggest things is to continue breaking barriers.”
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“Throughout my life, I was always the youngest to do things, which added hype that I didn’t want. It added this pressure that I needed to do well fast. Once I let that all go, I started to have the results I wanted. Right before Wimbledon, going back to around 2017/18, I was struggling to figure out if this was really what I wanted. I always had the results so that wasn’t the issue, I just found myself not enjoying what I loved. I realized I needed to start playing for myself and not other people. For about a year I was really depressed. That was the toughest year for me so far. Even though I had, it felt like there weren’t many friends there for me. When you are in that dark mindset you don’t look on the bright side of things too often, which is the hardest part. I don’t think it had much to do with tennis, maybe just about juggling it all. I knew that I wanted to play tennis but didn’t know how I wanted to go about it. It went so far that I was thinking about possibly taking a year off to just focus on life. Choosing not to obviously was the right choice but I was close to not going in that direction. I was just lost. I was confused and overthinking if this was what I wanted or what others did. It took many moments sitting, thinking and crying. I came out of it stronger and knowing myself better than ever. Everyone asks me how I stay calm on court and I think it’s because I accepted who I am after overcoming low points in my life. Now, when I’m on court, I am just really thankful to be out there. Personally for me, I like playing for more than myself. One of the biggest things is to continue breaking barriers. At the same time I don’t like being compared to Serena or Venus. First, I am not at their level yet. I always feel like it’s not fair to the Williams sisters to be compared to someone who is just coming up. It just doesn’t feel right yet, I still look at them as my idols. With all their accolades I shouldn’t be put in the same group yet. Of course I hope to get to where they are but they are the two women that set the pathway for myself, which is why I can never be them.” @cocogauff Go to behindtheracquet.com for extended stories, podcast and merch
What they’re sharing on social media
ATP Challenger Tour / Lockdown life with Arthur Rinderknech
What has daily life been like for players? What are they doing to pass the time?
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) May 13, 2020
Kristina Mladenovic / Back on the court again
— Kristina Mladenovic (@KikiMladenovic) May 13, 2020
Dayana Yastremska / Debuts a new single
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Ссылка на прослушивание в шапке профиля☝🏼🎶☝🏼 Многомерность или тысячи меня❤️Иногда мы думаем,что никогда не перешагнем черту за которой туманная неизведанность! Нам просто не хватит внутреннего ресурса,силы или поддержки родных) Многие ,к слову, так и живут в своих ракушках, не до конца осознавая свои скрытые возможности и таланты! Когда-то мне казалось,что «петь»-это не про меня 🙉🙊🙈 А сегодня у меня праздник, рождение моей маленькой мечты,рождение совершенно новой МЕНЯ! 🕊 Мечтайте и верьте в свои силы🤎🧡 Благодарю всех причастных за поддержку и профессионализм🤗 #DY #ТысячиМеня #премьера2020 #13мая #ThousandsOfMe #premiere2020 #13may. Multidimensionality or thousands of me.❤️ Sometimes we think that we never cross the line to the blurry unknown! We just believe we lack the internal capacity, power, or support of the relatives.) By the way, many continue to live inside of their shells, never fully recognizing their capabilities and talents hidden within. Once I thought that the whole idea of singing is not about me. 🙉🙊🙈 But still today I am having a party, a birthday of the dream, a birthday of an absolutely new ME! 🕊 Dream and believe in your strengths 🤎🧡 I would like to thank everyone involved for their support and professionalism. #DY #ТысячиМеня #премьера2020 #13мая #ThousandsofMe #premiere2020 #13may