The Continuing Education Of Naomi Osaka

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

​My name is Naomi Osaka. As long as I can remember, people have struggled to define me. I’ve never really fit into one description—but people are so fast to give me a label. Is she Japanese? American? Haitian? Black? Asian? Well, I’m all of these things together at the same time. I was born in Osaka, Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother. I spent my formative years growing up in the United States. I’m a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a girlfriend. I’m Asian, I’m Black, and I’m female. I’m as normal a 22-year-old as anyone, except I happen to be good at tennis. I’ve accepted myself as just me: Naomi Osaka.

Former World No. 1 Naomi Osaka has penned a first-person essay about racial inequality and unrest, “I Never Would’ve Imagined Writing This Two Years Ago” for Esquire that’s worth a good read. In it, she explains why she flew to Minneapolis days after George Floyd’s death – and why being “not racist” isn’t enough.

I honestly haven’t had the time to pause and reflect until now, which I think we can all relate to after the pandemic changed all of our lives overnight. In the past few months, I’ve re-evaluated what’s actually important in my life. It’s a reset that perhaps I greatly needed. I asked myself, “If I couldn’t play tennis, what could I be doing to make a difference?” I decided it was time to speak up. So what I will say here, I never would have imagined writing two years ago, when I won the US Open and my life changed overnight. I guess that when I read this piece back in the future, my evolution as a person will have continued. But for the here and now, this is who I am, and here are my thoughts.

To read Osaka’s entire essay, go to: Esquire.com.

Djokovic and wife test negative for coronavirus

According to reports, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and his wife, Jelena, have tested negative for coronavirus in Belgrade. The news was tweeted Thursday afternoon by Sasa Ozmo, a Serbian journalist for Sport Klub.

Initially, Djokovic was the fourth player reported to be infected with COVID-19 following the second weekend of the ill-fated Adria Tour in Zadar, Croatia. Djokovic became infected with Grigor Dimitrov, Viktor Troicki and Borna Coric. Additionally, Dimitrov’s coach, Djokovic’s trainier, Troicki’s wife and Goran Ivanisevic, who was the event director in Croatia, all tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm,” Djokovic said on social media after disclosing his positive test 10 days ago.

“Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region.”

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Love these two!! 😍😍😍 @brendapatea @alexzverev123 @djokernole @adriatourofficial

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DraftKings All-American Team Cup begins Friday

Five-time Atlanta Open champion John Isner headlines an all-U.S. field as the DraftKings All-American Team Cup begins Friday at Life Time Athletic and Tennis in Peachtree Corners, 30 miles northeast of Atlanta. Featuring a patriotic Fourth of July theme, the 21st-ranked Isner will be joined No. 24 Taylor Fritz, No. 39 Reilly Opelka, No. 45 Sam Querrey, No. 55 Tennys Sandgren, No. 57 Tommy Paul, No. 63 Steve Johnson and No. 81 Frances Tiafoe. Competition runs from July 3-5.

Team Stripes will feature Isner, Querrey, Sandgren and Johnson, while Team Stars is comprised of Fritz, Opelka, Paul and Tiafoe. All matches will be televised by Tennis Channel.

The Way Back Machine – Venus Williams, Wimbledon 2005 final

On July 2, 2005, Venus Williams overcame a championship point to beat top-ranked Lindsay Davenport, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 9-7, in the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles Final.

Roger Federer – Uniqlo journey began two years ago 

On July 2, 2018, Roger Federer introduced his first Uniqlo tennis kit to the world – Wimbledon whites – on Centre Court at the Wimbledon Championships.

Freshly picked strawberries for Wimbledon

What we’re missing – Wimbledon

What they’re writing

Emma John, The Guardian of London, from “The greatest: Martina Navratilova – an enduring champion brave enough to be herself”:

You cannot fight the hurricane. And that’s what Navratilova was destined to be, from the moment she took Evert to three sets in the 1975 French Open, or perhaps the one later that year, when she left her family to become a teenage immigrant with an Eastern European accent in a country that didn’t much care for outsiders. It’s what she promised when she served out to love to win her first grand slam in 1978, beating Evert for only the fifth time in2 5 attempts, and what she proved in 1984 with her 74-match winning streak, the longest in tennis history.

What they’re sharing on social media 

Todd Woodbridge / Wimbledon memories 

Carmelo Anthony & Venus Williams share a chat 

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Had a great time talking about equality, Olympics & quarantine workouts with @Venuswilliams. Link in bio #Whatsinyourglass.

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Agnieszka Radwanska / A baby shower with friends