48 year old Yutaka Nakamura, who has earlier worked with Kei Nishikori and Maria Sharapova, has been appointed as the the exclusive trainer for Japanese tennis sensation Naomi Osaka, according to her management company.
Naomi Osaka hires Maria Sharapova's former trainer
According to her management company, Nakamura will take the place of Abdul Schiller in mid-June and will be mainly in charge of strength.
Nakamura will work along with Natsuko Mogi who is in charge of conditioning. Nakamura hails from Machida city, Tokyo. In October 2018, Nakamura was named as Head of Tennis Physical Conditioning at the IMG Academy to oversee physical conditioning at IMG Academy including programming and delivery for boarding school students, professional trainees and youth and adult campers.
He had earlier served in a similar capacity as Performance Director of Tennis from 2005 – 09. During that time, Nakamura oversaw the physical conditioning and development of many top players, including the likes of Tommy Haas, Mary Pierce, Max Mirnyi and Xavier Malisse.
Nakamura also served as Maria Sharapova’s physical trainer for seven years, a span in which she won two Grand Slam titles and reached No. 1 in the world twice. Born in Osaka to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother, she has been based in the United States from an early age.
Naomi Osaka is a former World No. 1 and is the first player of Haitian or Asian descent to hold the World No. 1 ranking in singles. She has won five titles on the WTA Tour, including two Grand Slams and two Premier Mandatory titles .
Osaka won her first two Grand Slam singles titles in back-to-back Grand Slam tournaments at the 2018 US Open and the 2019 Australian Open. This made her the first player to achieve this feat since Jennifer Capriati in 2001.
In 2020, Osaka became the highest-paid female athlete ever having earned $37 million from June 2019 to May 2020. Osaka has become one of the most popular and marketable athletes in the world over the past few years. She has also taken up a strong stand against racial discrimination in recent weeks during the Black Lives Matter movement.
Osaka, who lost the third round of the Australian Open this year, is currently ranked 10th in the world. She has indicated her intention to participate in the US Open, which is scheduled to begin on August 31st in New York.