Mari Osaka, the sister of two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, has written a letter to her sister, telling her how much she admires Naomi for her accomplishments on the court.
Mari Osaka to Naomi Osaka: The most important thing I’ve taught you: how to lose
Below is a reproduction of the letter which was published in the Glamour magazine.
Dear Naomi, Watching you do your thing is like watching somebody make their dreams come true in real life. We grew up talking about this—how we would get big, and we would get into fashion, and we would get boyfriends—and you made it real.
You materialized it. I’m not with you as much as I would like, and I don’t always get to be there for these big wins. I know better than to give you tennis advice, but it makes me happy that you still call me before big matches.
You tell me you’re nervous. I tell you to picture everyone naked. When it comes to tennis, I think this is the most important thing I’ve taught you: how to lose. When we were growing up—like, from age 3 to age 16—we would play sets every single day.
Since I’m the older sister, I always won. But you never gave up. Every single day you said, “I’m going to beat you tomorrow,” without your spirit going down. It was like constant motivation for you. For some people, getting their butt handed to them every day, they might give up.
They might be like, “Hmm, this isn’t a good sport for me”. But not you. For you it was just more motivation. So, you’re welcome! Then you did start winning. I remember you made this face—the most annoying face in the world—that made me want to punch you.
But it’s cool. I’ll get you again. You taught me to never give up. You get in some really bad situations sometimes, and then you put on your game face and just grind through it. You don’t give up at all. Even if you complain, you’ll always be pushing through it.
If you say you’re going to do something, you manage to find a way to do it. A lot of people say they’re going to do something, but then they don’t. You always do it. You always find a way. When we were little, you said you were going to win the U.S.
Open. And then you did. That’s your whole life, not just tennis. Stay hungry. Keep going for it. Honestly, there’s nothing that can really stop you. Except for maybe me next time we have a rematch. —Mari 24 year old Mari Osaka also competes on the professional tour.
She made her WTA Tour debut at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic in the doubles event and her WTA singles debut at the 2019 Miami Open. She is currently ranked No. 326 in the world. 22 year old Naomi Osaka is a former World No.
1 and has won five titles on the WTA Tour. She has won two Grand Slam singles titles at the 2018 US Open and the 2019 Australian Open. Earlier this year, Osaka became the highest-paid female athlete ever having earned $37 million from June 2019 to May 2020. She is currently No. 10 in the WTA world rankings.