Unique professional female tennis players who sail into our lives leaving star dust in their wake invariably create moments in time that we will never forget.

For many writers, their most vivid memory of the Japanese sensation Naomi Osaka was after losing a match during the post-match interview a reporter asked her, “Why did you win today?”

A little perplexed, Naomi replied, “I didn’t win.”

Wanna get away? We’re sure that reporter did.

For this writer another Naomi moment was watching her excruciating melt down against the more established American star, Madison Keys.

We’re sure she wants to forget that match but the reporters and interviewers won’t let her.

Down 5-1 in third set, Madison Keys storms back to stun Naomi Osaka in third round.

The informative sports site tennis.com explains, “Tennis giveth and tennis taketh away. Both were on full display Friday afternoon in Arthur Ashe Stadium, where Madison Keys battled back from 5-1 down in the third set to defeat Naomi Osaka, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (3).

For Osaka, just 18, this third-round defeat is arguably the biggest heartbreaker of her young career. The world No. 81 had nothing to lose—until she took a seemingly insurmountable double-break lead in the final set—while Keys, almost a veteran at just 21, had all the pressure on her side.”

That was in September of 2016 and as we would find out in 2017 where Madison would battle to the finals of the 2017 US Open, the resilient American is no stranger to pressure and how to handle it well.

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, AFP PHOTO / Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

What impressed us the most about Naomi that day was her brilliant talent and passion for the game. Sadly she succumbed to the pressure as the front-runner and the struggle to preserve her lead was etched all over her young face.

It was all Naomi could do not to break down and cry profusely on the court.

She will have her day again.

“You have to really be courageous about your instincts and your ideas. Otherwise you’ll just knuckle under, and things that might have been memorable will be lost.”…Francis Ford Coppola

Naomi Osaka represents Japan in competitions.

On 17 October 2016, Naomi reached her best singles ranking of world number 40.

She defeated defending US Open champion Angelique Kerber in the first round of the 2017 US Open.

Osaka made her main draw WTA tour debut at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic, having firstly entered the qualifying tournament and defeating Alla Kudryavtseva and Petra Martić for a spot in the main draw.

She was then matched up against the 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur and came from a set down to defeat the Australian in a match lasting 2 1/2 hours. It was Naomi’s first main draw match win at the WTA level.

At the 2017 US Open, she made the biggest win of her career, defeating defending champion Angelique Kerber 6–3, 6–1 in the first round.

At the top of her game, Naomi is an offensive baseliner.

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, WTA photo credit

She is able to hit winners off both sides.

Naomi recorded a 125 mph serve at the 2016 U.S. Open, a speed that only eight women ever have topped.

She likes to attack with her big forehand, but she can also plant her feet and rip her backhand for winners as well. Her serve is consistent and very strong – up to 125 miles per hour and can produce weak balls to hit winners off of.

Our world traveler is not as comfortable on defense but continues to improve.

She was born in Osaka, Japan, but was raised in America with New York and Fort Lauderdale as her home.

As a result, she has dual citizenship and chose to represent Japan.

Naomi might be a new name to those who tune in for the second weeks of Grand Slams, yet she’s made the third round in all four major tournaments and the 19-year-old has been a rising force for more than two years on the WTA circuit.

You’ve heard of Osaka Japan, and we have been there more than once, but what do you know about Naomi’s birthplace?

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, photo via Flickriver

Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan.

It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with over 19 million inhabitants.

The magnificent metropolis is situated at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay.

Osaka is the second largest city in Japan by daytime population after Tokyo’s 23 wards and the third largest city by nighttime population after Tokyo’s 23 wards and Yokohama, serving as a major economic hub for the country.

The supreme travel group Lonely Planet always adds spice and insight. “If Kyoto was the city of the courtly nobility and Tokyo the city of the samurai, then Osaka (大阪) was the city of the merchant class. Japan’s third-largest city is a place where things have always moved a bit faster, where people are a bit brasher and interactions are peppered with playful jabs – and locals take pride in this.

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article,photo via Japan Travel

Above all, Osaka is a city that loves to eat: it’s unofficial slogan is kuidaore (‘eat until you drop’). It really shines in the evening, when it seems that everyone is out for a good meal – and a good time.”

The food and all things Osaka loving site osakastation.com adds, “Osaka is famous for its food, and Osaka’s people take great pride in their love of their local cuisine. There is even an expression, “Osaka no kuidaore” which literally means the Osaka habit of eating till you drop, but actually means eating so much you fall into debt! There are many local specialties in Osaka.”

We are starting to become very hungry.

Naomi is from a very globally vibrant place.

Naomi’s tennis can take us to a deeper and more memorable place.

No wonder she is become enshrined so deeply in our tennis memories at such an early age.

The legendary Venus Williams had this to say about her, “I have seen her play. She’s really young and really aggressive. She’s a really good, talented player. Very dangerous.”

Recently Naomi competed into the round of 16 at the 2018 Australian Open Grand Slam before succumbing to the then number one ranked player in the world Simona Halep.

So for you tennis fans, try and catch every Naomi Osaka match that you can.

She has a way of making a lasting, tasteful and memorable impression.

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, photo credit REUTERS/Mike Segar

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OPENING PHOTO http://www.j48tennis.net/