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Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka: Her journey to finding her power and her voice

Ben Rothenberg

Most tennis fans met the Haitian-American-Japanese player Naomi Osaka for the first time as they watched her win the 2018 US Open in a controversial match against Serena Williams. Since then, Osaka has galvanised the tennis world not only by winning three more grand slams—all tennis fans will remember Osaka winning the Australian Open twice—but also by being outspoken on matters of social justice and mental health. It is both her extraordinary talent and her candour that have propelled her to the top of her sport and onto the front page of newspapers and magazines worldwide, making her the highest-paid female athlete in the world since 2020.

But where did she come from and how did she get here? The story of Naomi Osaka and her family is unlike any other. Readers will be thrilled to read this book and learn more about tennis’s most fascinating player.

Ben Rothenberg has covered Naomi Osaka around the world since she emerged onto the WTA Tour in 2014. In this book, Ben will chart Naomi Osaka’s incredible impact on tennis and on social justice in sports, predicting where she’ll go next.


3AW: Drive    
ABC Listen     
ABC Listen: Melbourne Drive    
ABC Radio National: Breakfast (Content Warning: domestic violence)   
ABC Sport (Instagram video) 
Author Ben Rothenberg on Twitter (video)    
Craig Shapiro Tennis podcast    
Daily Beast    
GLAM Adelaide    
Good Reading (extract)    
Life Sentences podcast    
Los Angeles Times    
Publishers Weekly   
RTRFM 92.1 The Sound Alternative   
Saturday Paper (op-ed) ($)    
Siren Sport   
Sports Illustrated    
Wall Street Journal ($)    

Ben Rothenberg
About the Author

Ben Rothenberg is a sportswriter from Washington, D.C. He is extraordinarily well known in the Australian media, having appeared on Today, ABC News, Channel Nine and SEN among many others. His writing has also been published in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Saturday Paper. He has covered Naomi Osaka around the world since she emerged onto...

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Text publication date:
9 January 2024
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Praise for Ben Rothenberg
andNaomi Osaka

‘Naomi Osaka has an incredible inner strength, both on and off the court. She does everything, including speaking out on important social issues, with grace and kindness. Her courage is enormous. She is a trailblazer, a role model and an inspiration.’

‘This riveting book is about race, class, mental health, fame and what it really takes to make a world champion.’

‘A comprehensive look at the career of a young tennis star.’

‘Rothenberg provides exciting accounts of key matches and a sensitive treatment of Osaka’s public battle with depression… Osaka’s fans will lap this up.’

‘Ben Rothenberg worked alongside me for many years as a contributor to The New York Times. He is one of the best reporters in the global game of tennis, and he proves it once again with this deep dive into the multicultural phenomenon that is Naomi Osaka.’

‘Ben Rothenberg’s myriad revelations will inspire re-evaluations of this most reluctant superstar. With uncommon reporting, he examines what drove Osaka and what drove her to despair, and in doing so he articulates how she has grown, changed, and changed the game around her.’

‘A compelling, comprehensive biography of one of the most fascinating athletes of the past decade. Rothenberg provides essential context for both her on-court successes and off-court decisions. Even as someone who has covered Osaka’s entire career, I learned a lot.’

‘What is the price of superstardom? Rothenberg had a front-row seat for Naomi Osaka’s rise from tennis curiosity to cultural icon and he beautifully captures the ups and downs of her riveting ride.’

‘An insightful look into the unconventional life of this Gen-Z tennis star…Sports fans will devour details about Osaka’s coaches and tournament matches…Especially moving is the account of how Osaka, a self-described introvert, made her foray into sports activism in support of the Black Lives Matter movement…Using her platform, Osaka has made a mark advocating for mental health and, as Rothenberg shows, along the way learned to be unapologetically herself.’

‘A meticulous biography that is, in turns, earnest and ardent.’

‘The fearless tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg wrote the best book about a player I’ve read in a long while.’

‘More than a reporter of results…He covers the politics, social and cultural issues of the global game in print.’

Naomi Osaka is the work of an expert journalist determined to leave no stone unturned in painting the bigger picture. The book is detailed, thoroughly researched and contextually placed to give Osaka’s story the wider cultural and political lens which is the attention she and her career deserves…Rothenberg gives incredible detail to the big moments of Osaka’s career and provides the insight of a seasoned tennis journalist…Through Rothenberg’s excellent journalism, engaging prose and respect for Osaka and women’s tennis, I feel like I understand not only more about her, but why I admire her so much.’

‘4 stars. Incredibly detailed yet emotionally engaging…I cried a couple of times during the latter half of the book as the focus shifted from tennis to broader topics such as identity, race, and politics…The book is well-written and largely factual, yet Rothenberg infuses the text with emotion and depth, providing a nuanced portrait of Osaka.’

‘Ben Rothenberg’s sympathetic biography takes the reader off the court into the inner circle of coaches, managers, family and fans to paint a portrait of a complex, elusive young woman who is one of the most intriguing champions on the circuit today.’

Other editions ofNaomi Osaka
  • Naomi Osaka
    ISBN: 9781922791955
    9 January 2024
    Buy ebook