2018 U.S. Open women’s tennis champion Naomi Osaka is winning both on and off the court. After defeating Serena Williams, the 20-year-old Haitian and Japanese athlete has become a household name. According to Business Insider, Osaka is slated to make history by inking the biggest deal that Adidas has ever offered to a woman athlete.
Osaka is reportedly working on a deal with the sports brand that is worth $8.5 million per year, the news outlet writes. The deal could possibly make her one of the highest-paid women in the realm of sports; out-earning her tennis opponents. Osaka currently has a contract with Adidas for six figures which is ending this year.
It seems as if the Adidas deal is just the beginning of more endorsements to come for Osaka. She recently signed a three-year endorsement deal with Nissan to be one of their brand ambassadors. “With a combination of grit and grace, Naomi Osaka is not afraid to take on the best tennis players of our time, and win,” Asako Hoshino, Senior Vice President, Nissan, told the news outlet. Osaka is humbled to represent the brand and says she was drawn to Nissan because of its “strong Japanese DNA and global competitive spirit.”
Osaka’s win over Serena Williams at the 2018 US Open garnered a lot of attention after Williams was hit with a slew of unjust code violations for coaching, breaking a racket, and her exchange of words with umpire Carlos Ramos. Despite the drama surrounding the match, the tennis veteran displayed sportsmanship by giving her opponent encouraging words as the crowd booed the outcome. “She said that she was proud of me and that I should know that the crowd wasn’t booing at me. So, I was really happy that she said that,” said Osaka during a recent appearance on The Ellen Show.
Unseeded Sloane Stephens, who was ranked No. 957 in the world less than two months ago, soared to the top of the tennis world on Saturday with a powerful 6-3, 6-0 victory over 15th-ranked fellow American Madison Keys in the U.S. Open women’s finals.
Stephens, who underwent foot surgery and missed 11 months of competitive play, was confident but patient from the start on Saturday in this matchup of two first-time Grand Slam finalists. She broke Keys’ serve in the first set to take a 3-2 lead, capitalizing on Keys’ nervousness. She won the first set on her second chance, when Keys hit a forehand long, and needed three chances to win the match and the title.
When Keys hit a forehand into the net to end it, Stephens put her hand over her mouth as if in disbelief, closed her eyes for an instant, and then joined the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium in celebrating. “I told her I wish there could have been a draw because I wish we would have both won,” Stephens said. “My journey’s been incredible and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Stephens, 24, and Keys, 22, embraced at the net for several moments. Keys, who had overcome injury problems of her own — she had two wrist surgeries in the last year — appeared to be crying as the two friends hugged. Afterward, they sat together and smiled as they waited for the winner’s and runner-up trophies to be awarded. “Sloane is truly one of my favorite people,” Keys said on the court after the match. “Obviously I didn’t play my best tennis but Sloane was very supportive. If there’s someone I have to lose to today, I’m glad it’s her.”
It was only the seventh time in tennis’ Open Era and second at the U.S. Open that two first-time finalists had played for a Grand Slam title. It also was the 10th time two American women met in the U.S. Open singles final. The last time was in 2002, when Serena Williams defeated her sister, Venus Williams.
For the first time in U.S. Open history, three black women have advanced to the quarterfinal round; and, in this case, they all happen to be American. As of Monday, Venus Williams, 37, Sloane Stephens, 24, and Madison Keys, 22, are all vying for the Tiffany-engraved trophy. Oh, and it’s all going down at a stadium named for African-American tennis legend, Arthur Ashe.
Williams and Stephens earned quarterfinal spots Sunday night, by defeating Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain and Julia Gorges of Germany respectively, while Keys snagged her place by defeating Elina Svitolina from the Ukraine Monday night. Keys, ranked No. 15 in the world, is the youngest of the bunch, and was visibly excited after her win, and spoke about the prospect of the Americans squaring off against one another.
“It’s just really exciting. I’m really happy that none of us are playing each other in the quarterfinals,” Keys said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “If there’s some all-American matchups in the rest of the tournament, I think that says really good things about women’s tennis.”
It’s August, and summer is almost over, but I’m always on the hunt for fun entertaining things to do, read, watch and… enjoy! Here’s a few listed below:
August 25th October 27th
Muse by artist Mickalene Thomas
This gorgeous book is at the top of my list. It explores Mickalene’s inspiration of African American female beauty and identity through her photographs. We get lots of inspiring 70’s-themed shots.http://mickalenethomas.com
Serena will compete in the U.S. Open and may just make make tennis history.
IN TELEVISION August 5th
NBC premieres Mr. Robinson starring Craig Robinson as a musician (lead singer and keyboardist of the funk band Nasty Delicious) who takes a job as a high school substitute teacher to pay the bills. Craig is moved to inspire the kids. This sounds like a pretty cool premise promising lots of laughter.http://www.nbc.com/mr-robinson
Michael B. Jordan joins Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell as four young outsiders who acquire superhuman abilities after a trip to an alternative universe. Check out the trailer here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAgnQdiZFsQ
Straight Outta Compton
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. The F. Gary Gray-directed film about the revolutionary rap legends N.W.A. is steadily gaining rave reviews. Click here for the trailer:http://www.straightouttacompton.com/#/
It’s been a minute since Method Man has released a solo effort. He’s done tons of collaborations but this will be the first album he has put out in a decade. This 5th solo effort proves to be worth the wait.
August 22 -23rd
Los Angeles-based annual festival featuring music performances from indie and alternative bands. Frank Ocean, Morrissey and Solange are among the many premiere acts.
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
Finally! The highly-anticipated album is coming out this month.
They did the cool thing, the classy thing, by bringing Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert out to embellish, or even to authenticate, the occasion of Serena Williams joining their 18 Grand Slam singles victory club Sunday evening after Williams toyed with Caroline Wozniacki in the United States Open final.
The request was made Saturday, Navratilova would say, after standing with Evert in a corner of the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium, waiting for Mary Carillo to cue them to the presentation of the championship trophy and a shiny bracelet.
Once upon an era, the career-long rivals Navratilova and Evert shared bagels in the locker room before fittingly finishing their careers with the same number of slams. Now it was their turn to hug and welcome into the fold a woman they — and Carillo, the former player and esteemed tennis commentator — didn’t always shower with praise, didn’t always think gave the game the respect it deserved.
NEW YORK — For eight intense, entertaining games, Sloane Stephens stayed right with Serena Williams. For a 40-minute stretch in the fourth round of the US Open, the top two American women put on quite a show. Both hit serves topping 115 mph. Both whipped groundstrokes to the corners. Both covered a lot of ground, extending points with leg-churning defense. Both showed the occasional sign of nerves, reflecting what a big deal this was, in part because the 15th-seeded Stephens already was one of only three players to beat No. 1 Williams this season. Until, that is, the score was 4-all in the first set Sunday. That’s when Williams took over.
The 20-year-old Stephens’ time at the top of tennis may come. For now, the 31-year-old Williams is still as good as it gets. Taking eight of the last nine games, defending champion Williams returned to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows by beating Stephens 6-4, 6-1.
“When you give her that opportunity to take that step forward, she definitely makes her move,” Stephens said. “Unfortunately, today she made her move. I just couldn’t get back in.” Still, all in all, it was remarkably compelling and, within individual points, rather evenly played for what turned out to be such a runaway. “I definitely think it was a high-quality match,” said Williams, 64-4 with eight titles this year. “We both came out today to play.”
The story of how Venus and Serena Williams grew to become two of the world’s most notable tennis stars is quite fascinating. The sisters, who are only 15 months apart, are finally telling their story from the beginning with the release of the documentary, Venus and Serena. Watch the super-trailer above to see the sisters give a never-before-seen glimpse into their lives as not only world-renowned champions, but sisters and best friends, too. The film will be released on iTunes April 4 and in theatres May 10.
Serena Williams poses with the Billy Jean King Trophy after defeating Maria Sharapova of Russia in October in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
LONDON (AP) — Serena Williams has been named the Women’s Tennis Ass0ciation’s Player of the Year after winning major titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and claiming gold at the London Olympics. Williams, who has won 15 Grand Slam singles titles and four Olympic gold medals, was 48-2 over the final seven months of the season.
It is the fourth time Williams has won the award, which is voted on by international tennis media. She also was named WTA Player of the Year in 2002, 2008 and 2009. Only Steffi Graf (eight times) and Martina Navratilova (seven times) have won the award more than Williams.
ISTANBUL — After smacking her 40th and final winner of the match on a forehand service return on championship point, Serena Williams clenched her left fist, then punched the air with her right. She then skipped to the net as winner of the WTA Championships for the third time, having defeated Maria Sharapova, 6-4, 6-3, in the final Sunday. After the two shook hands, Williams turned and waved to the crowd on all sides of the sold-out Sinan Erdem Arena, a crowd that brought a level of noise and enthusiasm to the championships far exceeding previous events.
“Now that I can be honest, I really wanted to win and win this title and put a little pressure on myself,” Williams said in her postmatch news conference. “Yeah, I wanted it so bad, but I didn’t want to say it. I’m really excited that I was able to win it.”
Williams added: “I was like a heavy favorite going in to win this title, so for me it was really important. I mean, for my own sanity, so to say. I really wanted it, even though I didn’t need it. Like I don’t think I needed to do anything else this year — or any other year — but I really wanted to end on a good note.”
Taylor Townsend of the United States returns a shot against Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during their junior girls’ singles quarterfinal match on Day Twelve of the 2012 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood, of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA)
NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams says she’s alarmed by the U.S. Tennis Association’s decision to hold a top junior player out of competition over concerns about her fitness. Sixteen-year-old Taylor Townsend is the world’s top-ranked girl. The Wall Street Journal first reported last week that the USTA withheld funding her tournament appearances while she focused on getting in better shape.
“If that happened, that’s obviously a tragedy, because everyone deserves to play,” Williams said Monday, a day after winning the U.S. Open.
“She’s so sweet and she works so hard,” she added. “For a female, particularly, in the United States, in particular, and African-American, to have to deal with that is unnecessary. … Women athletes come in all different sizes and shapes and colors and everything. I think you can see that more than anywhere on the tennis tour.”
Townsend played at the Open, winning the junior doubles title and reaching the quarterfinals in singles. “She’s still No. 1,” Williams said. “That’s saying something.”