Who is Naomi Osaka’s father? The biography of Leonard Francois

Leonard Francois is the father of Naomi Osaka, the professional tennis player, who defeated Serena Williams in the 2018 US Open Final. He has devoted many years of his life to working as a tennis coach for his daughters, Mari and Naomi.

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Early life and family

Leonard Max Francois was born in the US, although he is of Haitian descent. His parents only spoke Creole, as they spoke no English. Leonard spent his childhood in New York, eventually as a student at New York University. It was then that he met the love of his life and the future mother of his daughters, Tamaki Osaka. During one of his vacations from college, Leonard went to one of the Japanese islands, including Hokkaido, where he met Tamaki, and soon understood that he wanted to start a relationship with her.

Posted by Leonard Francois On Thursday 26 March 2009

Japanese family of Tamaki accused that she dated a black man and brought shame to the whole family, but Leonard wasn’t afraid to prove he was a good match for his Japanese girlfriend, so after graduating from university, he moved to Osaka, Japan, to live there. to live with Tamaki and to be close to her family to show them that he was good enough.


Leonard decided to take up tennis coaching in 1999 when he saw the Williams sisters perform at the French Open tournament. Both his daughters were toddlers at the time, but Leonard’s decision was made. He was amazed at their doubles win and vowed to do everything in his power to make his daughters the Williams team. Leonard was also encouraged by the fact that the Williams sisters’ coach, their father Richard Williams, did not play tennis at all his entire life, although Leonard played tennis quite a lot.

Leonard’s youngest daughter, Naomi Osaka, later admitted that the style of their upbringing in the courts was very similar to that of their father’s Serena and Venus Williams. Just as Serena once said that no one beat her like Venus did, Naomi also shared that her older sister Mari was her strongest opponent. Leonard later found another coach for both his daughters, for them to improve their playing level. Leonardo never forgot where he came from, so he and his wife built an elementary school in Haiti in 2000, which Naomi attended later in 2019. He does a lot of charity work and helps various funds to develop sports classes for children with low-income families.

Older daughter, Mari Osaka

Leonard’s eldest daughter, Mari Osaka, was born on April 3, 1996 in Osaka, Japan. She was trained in tennis by her father at a young age.

She also loves to draw and often shares her photos and sketches on her Instagram account. She also posts videos of her daily training routine, featuring various interesting devices and gadgets that help her practice and develop the speed, responsiveness and other skills important to a professional tennis player. Mari’s coach is now Maxime Kouyaté; he took her to the final of The McLeod for Health Florence Open in 2018. Mari started competing in professional tennis tournaments in 2014 and entered the Bank of the West Classic, when she played in doubles with Marina Shamayko, but they lost. by Ajla Tomljanović and Varvara Lepchenko. Mari was then featured at the 2019 Miami Open, playing singles by getting a wild card into the main draw.

Mari likes to travel; her favorite destinations are Tokyo, Japan and Paris, France. She likes dogs.

She is troubled by many people who compare her to her younger sister who is more successful than Mari; however, she is learning to cope with it, not to be depressed and to develop her own career and achievements.

Younger daughter, Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka was born on October 16, 1997 in Chūō-ku, Osaka, Japan. The questions she is more than tired of answering are ‘Why is her last name the same as the city she was born in?’: ‘We are recycling a joke from 2014! Everyone born in Osaka, their last name is Osaka,” she joked in her interview to Washington Post in 2018. When Naomi was three years old, her family moved to Long Island and then to Florida when she was about nine years old. Naomi started playing tennis with her older sister, Mari. She worked hard and dreamed of playing against the Williams sisters.

Naomi Osaka

At the age of 15, Naomi started working at the ISP Academy, coached by Patrick Tauma, then at the Harold Solomon Tennis Academy in 2014, and then moved to the ProWorld Tennis Academy, where she improved her skills and gained more opportunities for success. achieve.

Naomi won her first WTA Tour match when she was just 16 years old, and became a sensation in the sports world after beating Serena Williams at the US Open in 2018 while she was ranked sevethis much in the world at that time. The New Yorker called her ‘the next best player in the world’. In 2019, Naomi won the Australian Open, beating Petra Kvitová, the Czech professional tennis player, in three sets. The same tournament in 2020 was not as successful as Naomi had expected, as she lost in the third round to Coco Gauff, the American professional tennis player.

Controversy over Naomi’s US Open victory

“We’ll never know if the young Osaka really won the 2018 US Open or if it was handed to her by a man who would make Serena Williams feel his power,” wrote Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins. The situation that took place during the match between Naomi Osaka and her greatest idol and inspiration, Serena Williams, was indeed excellent. Portuguese umpire Carlos Ramos, who acted as chair umpire in the match, gave Serena three code violations. She accused him of stealing the point from her and claimed she was not given any coaching during the match. She also accused him of sexism and racism, but ended up paying fines for her violations.

Naomi won the match and the crowd argued over whether it was her skill that helped her, or the situation surrounding Serena, which caused the latter to lose both her patience and the game. At the end of the match, Serena congratulated Naomi and looked at Osaka with kindness and a smile. However, her true feeling about the game was in fact the opposite, but not focused on Naomi.

Personal life, wife Tamaki Osaka

Leonard has never been separated from his schoolteacher wife, Tamaki Osaka, since the day they married in 1989. According to the laws of Japan, his daughters took their mother’s surname; the law is also known as Koseki, or the Japanese family registration law. It states that the foreign spouse must join their Japanese spouse’s koseki and all their children must be registered under the Japanese spouse’s surname.

Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts

Leonard is an avid fan of many kinds of sports, so he spends a lot of time playing tennis and beach volleyball, swimming, etc. He also likes to watch basketball games. Leonard spends a lot of time with his parents, who still live in New York.

Appearance, clothing style

Leonard has black hair and dark brown eyes. His height, weight and vital stats are not available at the moment, but judging by his photos with his daughter Naomi, who is 1.78m tall, he is slightly shorter than her.

Wealth and salary

As of 2020, Leonard’s net worth is still not officially reported. However, his daughter Naomi Osaka has an estimated net worth of more than $29 million.