Naomi Osaka picks Japanese citizenship to play at Tokyo 2020

The two-time Grand Slam-winner has started proceedings to choose Japanese citizenship with the aim of playing at Tokyo 2020 

By Sanjeev Palar

Two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka intends to play for host country Japan at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by choosing Japanese nationality.

Born in Osaka to a Japanese mother and a father from Haiti, the 21-year-old currently holds dual nationality with both Japan and the United States, having grown up in New York.

However she will turn 22 on October 16, the age at which Japanese law obliges dual-nationality citizens to choose one.

Osaka shared with Japan's national broadcasting organisation, NHK, that she has started proceedings to choose Japanese citizenship.

"It's definitely going to be very special. I think there's no other place that I'd rather play my first Olympics. I think that will be one of the most memorable things that ever happens to me." - Naomi Osaka to NHK

Naomi Osaka wins the 2019 China Open

The Japan Tennis Association says Osaka will be eligible to represent Japan in the Olympics if she plays for the country in one more national team competition organised by the International Tennis Federation.

Osaka shared exclusively with Olympic Channel that playing at Tokyo 2020 would mean a lot to her as it will be her maiden Olympic experience.

"I'm kind of looking forward to everything like the opening ceremony. It's also a very big honour to even be participating." - Naomi Osaka to Olympic Channel

Osaka made her Fed Cup debut for Japan in 2017 and currently plays on the WTA Tour under the Japanese flag. She added to her maiden US Open title last year by winning the Australian Open in January and recently picked up her third championships of the year by winning the China Open in Beijing.