Naomi Osaka wins AP Female Athlete of Year award
The three-time Major champion Naomi Osaka earned The Associated Press as the Female Athlete of the Year award, mainly for her off-court activism and fearless promotion of racial injustice and police brutality problems.
World no. 3 experienced a short season, entering only four WTA tournaments and one Fed Cup match that turned into a disaster. Still, the Japanese saved the season at the US Open, claiming her third Major crown in the last two seasons and keeping herself among the world's best players. Noami kicked off the season in Brisbane, losing a tight semi-final encounter to Karolina Pliskova and experiencing a tough defeat against the young gun Cori Gauff in the Melbourne third round.
Sara Sorribles Tormo destroyed Osaka in the Fed Cup Qualifiers in Cartagena, in Naomi's last match before Cincinnati in August. Protesting the police shooting of Blake, Naomi decided to withdraw from the semi-final encounter against Elise Mertens, canceling the entire day and stepping on the court again the next day.
In her last tournament of the season, Osaka defeated Victoria Azarenka in three sets in the US Open final, lifting the third Major trophy at a young age and preparing for more in 2021.
Alongside her tennis in New York, the focus was on Osaka's masks that she wore while entering the court, bearing the names of Floyd, Taylor, Tamir Rice, Elijah McClain, Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery and Philando Castile.