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Sports News

Factbox: U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka

(Reuters) - Factbox on Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who beat Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 1-6 6-3 6-3 to win the U.S. Open title on Saturday.

Sep 12, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts winning the third set and match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the women's singles final match on day 13 of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Born: Oct. 16, 1997 in Osaka, Japan

Grand Slam titles: 3 (U.S. Open 2018, 2020; Australian Open 2019)

EARLY LIFE

* Born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, Osaka grew up idolising 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

* Moved to New York when she was three-years-old and turned professional in 2013 aged 15.

* Played in the main draw of a WTA event for the first time at Stanford in 2014. Beat Sam Stosur in the first round before losing to Andrea Petkovic.

CAREER TO DATE

* Made her Grand Slam debut as a qualifier at the Australian Open in 2016, beating Elina Svitolina in the second round before losing to former champion Azarenka.

* Cracked the top 100 in the world for the first time in April 2016 and the top 50 later in the year.

* Named 2016 WTA “Newcomer of the Year” after making third-round appearances at three Grand Slams and reaching her first WTA final.

* Won her first WTA title in March 2018 in Indian Wells, beating Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep along the way.

* Beat Serena Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open final to claim her maiden Grand Slam title and finished the year ranked fifth in the world.

* Beat Petra Kvitova in the 2019 Australian Open final to become the first player since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to win the next Grand Slam after her maiden major.

* Beat Azarenka to win her second U.S. Open title. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no fans in attendance at the hardcourt major in 2020. She turned up for each of her seven matches at Flushing Meadows wearing a face mask carrying the name of a Black American to highlight racial injustice in the United States.

Compiled by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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