In her podcast series Daniela Hantuchova, former World No 5 in women’s tennis talks about Naomi Osaka making a mark in the sport, her impact both on and off the court, and the significance of female players speaking their mind.
The ambitious star who is of Japanese and Haitian heritage played a crucial role in the peaceful demonstrations asking for justice against police brutality and the violent killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the shooting of Jacob Blake which shed light on the long history of racial discrimination in America.
The 23-year-old paid tribute and honored the names of the deceased by adorning face masks engraved with their names through all 7 stages of her matches and gracefully walked towards victory, successfully winning the title and the US Open in September.
In an age of social media scrutiny and constant judgment, Osaka strongly stood her ground and remain unwavering in her stance. Hantuchova commented, “I think it just shows her mental strength, to go out there and speak your heart out, that’s going to take a lot of energy out of her.”
She further went on to state that this just comes to show what a confident, independent young athlete she is, the sheer resilience and never give up attitude is a source of inspiration for many who aspire to bring a positive change and create a brighter, better future for themselves.
Not only are they dedicated to the sport but also working hard to champion extremely important initiatives.
Nicole Gibbs who used her voice to educate about global warming, gun laws and equal prize money joined others in challenging the Australian Open organizers over a lack of information regarding poor air quality and related safety guidelines. Madison Keys strived to tackle cyber-bullying and launched a website to assist and guide the victims in fighting it.
A distinguished and accomplished player, Serena Williams was also among those who campaigned for equality and has previously spread awareness about domestic abuse as well as addressing maternal healthcare.
Hantuchova also said that she is very proud to see the girls standing up for various causes and contributing their time and energy to make a difference. It is wonderful to see that they are not afraid or worried about being criticized and are acting responsibly. They are leading by example and doing an excellent job.
They have embraced the fact that they cannot please everyone and nobody is perfect and that is perfectly okay. It is something that helps you in building your character, overcoming your weaknesses, and turning them into your strengths.