Vogue: Naomi Osaka Turning Her Dreams Into Reality

WASHINGTON, December 13, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

Whether winning Grand Slam titles on the court or fighting racial injustice off the court – even finding time to roll out her first signature collection for Nike – it’s been busy times for Naomi Osaka. Just a few days after she was selected as one of Sports Illustrated magazine’s Sportspersons of the Year, recognized for her activism on and off the tennis court, Osaka is back in the spotlight thanks to garnering the January 2021 cover of Vogue. She was photographed by Annie Leibovitz wearing a Louis Vuitton dress.

“This is really a dream,” Osaka wrote on her Instagram page in reaction to the cover story about her, “Leading by Example: How Naomi Osaka Became the People’s Champion.”

“Growing up looking at my idols on the cover and now being able to be in their position is crazy to me.”

In the article by Rob Haskell, he writes: “This tennis season, the goal has been simultaneously to return to the pinnacle of the sport and to take it just a little less seriously. Osaka would argue that these are not mutually exclusive. ‘As tennis players, we’re so hyper-focused on what happens on the court, and we think our life is sort of determined by whether we win a match or not,’ she says. ‘That’s not true. I think that the pandemic gave me the chance to go into the real world and do things that I wouldn’t have done without it.’”

Cirstea wins ITF W100 Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge

Unseeded Sorana Cirstea of Romania improved her career head-to-head to 4-0 against 64th-ranked Katerina Siniakova from the Czech Republic with her 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory in the finals of the ITF W100 Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge in Dubai Saturday afternoon. It was Cirstea’s first singles title since 2016.

The unseeded, 86th-ranked Cirstea broke the No. 5 seed Siniakova’s service eight times in nine looks and won 73 percent of her first-serve points en route to her victory. It was the third time this year the 30-year-old Cirstea has come back to win after losing the first set.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to play tennis in such tough and testing times,” Cirstea said, quoted by the Abu Dhabi-based Gulf News. “It’s been a great week for me and hopefully I will be back to defend my title here next year.”

Cirstea’s title in Dubai was her ninth ITF singles title – and first since winning in Bertioga, Brazil four years ago – and 10th career singles title overall. Her one WTA title was won in Tashkent in 2008.

Ekaterine Gorgodze of Georgia and Ankita Raina of India won the doubles titles with a 6-4, 3-6, 10-6 victory over Aliona Bolsova of Spain and Kaja Juvan of Slovenia.

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The Way Back Machine –  Arthur Ashe, 1968

Chanda Rubin: A Tennis Hall of Fame appreciation

Happy 58th Birthday, Tracy Austin

In appreciation of Gordon Forbes

In looking back on the life of South African tennis player and author Gordon Forbes, who passed away this week at age 86, Tennis.com writer Steve Tignor looks at the enduring magic of his amateur-era memoir, “A Handful of Summers.”

What they’re sharing on social media

Johanna Konta / Just a chilled night in with my boys

Stan Wawrinka / Practicing outdoors in December