Prominent tennis star Naomi Osaka is geared up to spread her wings to the far corners of the athletics industry as she plans to establish her sports agency.
It is no news that Osaka is highly regarded in the tennis business and has had a successful career since she turned pro in September 2013.
She has partnered with several notable brands in the recent past, including the talent agency IMG. However, according to NPR‘s report, she recently withdrew from the company to work on launching her latest venture.
Naomi Osaka Partners With Agent To Create New Sports Company
The Japanese athlete has been in partnership with IMG for six years, after which she was reported to have pulled out of the deal to begin her own sports agency.
As the outlet reported, she joined forces with her agent Stuart Duguid on the project named Evolve, and each of them will have “equity stakes” in the establishment.
Osaka recently opened up to Sportico about the decision to establish her new venture, noting that it was a “natural” subsequent move in her career.
She said, “I’ve spent my career doing things my way, even when people told me that it wasn’t what was expected or traditional. Evolve is the natural next step in my journey as both an athlete and businesswoman.”
The pro tennis player is one of the highest-paid female athletes globally and became widely recognized when she defeated tennis legend Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final in 2018.
The following years were full of victory for her as she was triumphant in 2019’s Australian Open, won the U.S. Open in 2020, and gained a second victory in 2021’s Australian Open.
Despite her win in 2021, the same year had a bit of drama for the tennis icon after she spoke up about mental health.
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At the time, she announced her decision not to participate in a press conference, citing the mental effect it could have on sportspersons.
The action eventually caused her a $15,000 fine, and she later withdrew from the French Open. However, fellow athletes supported her following her mental health speech.
Speaking of Osaka’s new agency, her agent described the project in AS‘ report, saying it will be “a small boutique and bespoke agency” that is only open to sportspersons “who transcend their sports” or have the potential to do so.
The venture has already gained quite the attention as NBA star Kyrie Irving reached out to the 24-year-old on Twitter, asking if “hoopers” were welcome in Evolve.
In his words, “@naomiosaka yall got room over at your agency for hoopers. Just inquiring,” accompanied with a ‘cheers’ emoji of two champagne flutes clinking together.
Osaka reacted to the message, showing that basketballers were always welcome. She wrote “always room” with the same ‘cheers’ emoji and a basketball.
The Four-Time Grand Slam Winner Shares Expressive Message After Getting Booed In Tournament
Osaka has no problem with putting her haters in their place and never ceases to express gratitude to her millions of fans for their support.
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Last month, The Blast shared a brief message she wrote to her enthusiastic supporters, showing how highly she prioritizes their love and encouragement. She wrote:
“I just want to say if you fw me, thank you. Tbh there’s probably a lot of people praying for my downfall, but I don’t really feel it cause the love overpowers everything. Thank you.”
Fans were pretty excited as they reacted to her candid message by sending her positive and encouraging words.
The U.S. Open champion’s emotional statement came after she was heckled during a tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Masters.
While playing against Japan’s Veronika Kudermetova at the time, she experienced emotional shock and lost concentration when an unidentified female yelled, “Naomi, you suck!”
The female did not end there but kept shouting the words until Osaka could not stand it, and she suffered a 3-0 loss to her rival.
She requested a time out during the game and approached the umpire about the insistent bully hoping the situation would be resolved.
Unfortunately, that did not happen, and the tournament ended with a defeat on her part, which distressed her.
Nevertheless, she remained back after the game to address the attacker in an interview, expressing how much the rude remark bothered her as tears threatened to spill down her face.