In these trying times for our dear half of the island of Haiti, of course I’m talking about the Republic, we are fortunate to have the champion Naomi Osaka represent our culture on the world stage at the highest peak. Naomi Osaka is in Miami this week to continue on her road to greatness as she tries to conquer the Miami Open. She is the No. 1 tennis player in the WTA, the international professional association of women tennis. After starting the year with a bang by winning the Australian Open Naomi climbed to No. 1 in the tennis rankings on the women side, a spot she currently holds as she enters Miami.
Naomi Osaka is a Haitian Japanese who was born and represents Japan on the world stage. She is also proud of her Haitian identity which she inherited from her father Leonard Francois who was born in Jacmel. Her family has sponsored a school in the Jacmel region which Naomi visited recently after meeting the President of the country and other officials in Haiti. Naomi is proud of her Haitian heritage and we hear that she loves to eat “Legume” and other Haitian dishes. On her recent trip she had a great time and she plans to return once she gets the opportunity, although with such a grueling schedule it may be awhile. Naomi’s father Leonard Francois deplores the fact that few Haitians are in attendance on the world’s highest stage in tennis when his daughter plays; as the No. 1 player in the world she attracts media from all over the world, but no one from Haiti in terms of media outlets. This is understandable because Haitian news outlets only cover local events whether news or sports, in the area they work in. The only daily with a paper issue, the Nouvelliste only covers Port-au-Prince and major events from news wire in terms of international news. Haitian news media usually cannot afford to send reporters away from the country.
Let us change that in Miami during the Open where the local Haitian Media outlets like Island TV and local radio stations need to step up and bring the Haitian community to watch and support our champion here at Hard Rock Stadium. After a stellar start of the season when Naomi won the Australian Open for a back to back after also winning the U.S. Open in New York she became No. 1 in the world. Naomi has to reach the finals or even win the title to keep her hold on the number 1 spot. She lost in the fourth round at Indian Wells after defeating two tough opponents; Mladenovic, a French who had beaten her in Dubai a couple of weeks earlier, so that was sweet revenge; and then Daniel Collins, a young hard hitting American player. I think Naomi suffered from fatigue, although she will not admit it, but it was three matches in three days and she has not been on this stage with that type of grueling schedule for a long type. It takes some getting used to, but we have faith that she will learn from her setback because that is the mark of the true champion. I can see her winning many more Grand Slam tournaments in the future so that we can root for her and cheer the accomplishments of a true daughter of Marie Jeanne.
So let’s go Naomi !! Represent both Haiti and Japan. Win it all with strong serving and precise groundstrokes.