Naomi Osaka by Ben Rothenberg

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Naomi Osaka

Ben Rothenberg

A deeply reported, revealing biography of tennis phenomenon and activist Naomi Osaka, telling the untold story behind her Grand Slam-winning career, her headline-making advocacy for racial justice and mental health, and the challenges of a life in the international spotlight.

Naomi Osaka has been everywhere, but how did she get there?

Most tennis fans met the Japanese-Haitian-American player Naomi Osaka for the first time as they watched her win the 2018 US Open final in an unforgettably controversial and dramatic victory over her idol, Serena Williams. Since then, Osaka has galvanized the tennis worldand gained attention across the culturenot only by winning three more Grand Slams, but also by being fiercely outspoken on matters of social justice and mental health.

It is both her extraordinary talent and her unique point of view that have propelled her to the top of her sport and onto the front page of newspapers and magazines worldwide, making her, in both 2021 and 2022, by far the highest-paid female athlete in the world and a constant focus of conversation and debate on a wide range of social issues.

But until now, the story of the Osaka family’s journey across the world to follow their tennis dreams—and how their youngest daughter found her power off the court—has remained little known. It is a story unlike any other, and Ben Rothenberg’s biography will not only examine where Osaka came from but also show us where she's going, including her return to the tour in 2024 as the latest women's tennis champion balancing her competitive career with motherhood. Through a riveting exploration of the ways Osaka has changed the game on and off the court, Rothenberg reveals the incredible impact Osaka has had in the wider worlds of business, social justice, and mental health.

Ben Rothenberg

Photo: © 2022 Jimmie48 Photography

Ben Rothenberg

Ben Rothenberg is a sportswriter from Washington, D.C. He has covered Naomi Osaka around the world since she emerged onto the WTA Tour in 2014, both in print for the New York Times (where he covered tennis from 2011-2022) and on his podcast, No Challenges Remaining. His work has focused on the intersections of social and cultural issues in tennis. His longform writing has been published in outlets including Slate and Racquet. He has also appeared frequently as a tennis expert on international networks such as CNN, the BBC, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. With an eye for finding stories and dogged determination as a reporter, Rothenberg has been called  "the most powerful tennis journalist in the world" and is one of the leading voices in the sport—including on X, formerly known as Twitter, where he has more than 150,000 followers.

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