Naomi Osaka has given an insight into her life off the court as the American tennis star has taken on several business ventures away from tennis recently.
Osaka has been off the WTA tour for almost a year after she became pregnant and then gave birth to her first child in July. The four-time Grand Slam champion is now gearing up for a return to tennis in 2024 following her spell away from the court.
However, the 26-year-old has also been busy with several business and leadership projects, including her skincare brand KINLÒ, a production company, Hana Kuma, and new athletic talent agency EVOLVE.
When speaking to Yahoo Finance about her entrepreneurial life, Osaka explained that she has used her heritage and experience as a tennis player to learn and discover more about her brands.
"I've always tried to come from a place... of my culture, like being half-Japanese and being half-Haitian and growing up in America, Hana Kuma, on that sense, kind of sees things from my lens."
"I would say, for me, I'm always really curious about new paths. And I don't know. I've always gotten really good opportunities through being a tennis player. And I've always felt like it would be great to expand on that. And I know, like, my career as an athlete isn't as long as I would want it to be. So it's good just to explore different avenues, and also everything that we've created is things that I'm very, very into and excited about, so it's all coming from an organic place."
Although, the former WTA number one also explained that shifting from professional tennis to business is not as easy as it seems. While skill on the court came naturally to Osaka, learning about business and setting up a company required different expertise.
"I've been playing tennis since I was a really young kid, so it's kind of like breathing air to me. There's nothing new about it. Well, I mean, there are some new things about it. But every time I step on the court it's like a very relaxing feeling.
"But I would say, like with business and everything like that, I feel like a child. Like I'm learning new things every day, and it's kind of very challenging. And I feel very lucky because I'm surrounded by people that know quite a lot. And they're able to guide me and give me really good information."