Naomi Osaka: Tennis player tells of “near-death experience” on vacation

Naomi Osaka will be defending her title at the Australian Open in a few weeks. The tennis player used the season break for a vacation in the Caribbean – but this was apparently not only relaxing for the 22-year-old. Blame? Her big sister Mari – at least that's what Osaka reported at a press conference of the Women's Tennis Association.

“It forced me to paddleboard, the current dragged us along and I almost died,” said Osaka – admitting, however, that her portrayal may not be entirely objective – when you're afraid, everything seems more dramatic: “Mari might say I'm lying, but that's what happened to me personally. “

She doesn't particularly like the ocean, said Osaka. The two women went paddleboarding near the house. At first everything was good, the Japanese woman says. “It was a wonderful day. I saw starfish.” Suddenly, however, they came across a current. “I freaked out a little,” said Osaka. The house was always further away and she couldn't swim so well.

It was even worse for Osaka when she finally fell into the water: she thought about the sharks in the Caribbean and shouted at her sister: “If I die, it's your fault. You have to tell Mama how I looked at the Turks and Caicos Islands died. “

Mari Osaka was apparently not impressed by this: When her sister made it back on the paddleboard, the older one said that she had seen a shark. The result: tears and shouts. Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka can laugh about the story, as a video of the press conference shows – but in the Caribbean it obviously looked different: “At that moment I really thought I didn't want to die that way.”

Naomi Osaka is currently in fourth place in the world rankings. In 2018 she won the 2019 US Open at the Australian Open. She was the first Asian to top the world rankings. The 22-year-old is the daughter of a Haitian and a Japanese woman. Read more here: “She is celebrated as a Japanese woman – as long as she wins.”

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