Osaka To Pick Japan Nationality For Olympics

Osaka to pick Japan nationality for Olympics

Tennis star Naomi Osaka says she aims to play for the host country of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by choosing Japanese nationality.

Osaka, the world's No.3-ranked women's player, told NHK in Tokyo on Thursday that she's already begun the procedure to choose Japanese citizenship.

Born to a Japanese mother and a father from Haiti, Osaka has nationality in Japan and the US. On October 16 she'll be 22, the age at which Japanese law obliges dual-nationality citizens to choose one.

Osaka said playing for Japan will definitely be very special, and one of the most memorable things to ever happen to her. She added that she expects to feel emotional playing for the country.

She also said she does better in very high-stakes moments, so she has high expectations for herself in the Tokyo Olympics. She said she's anxious because everyone wants her to do well, but hopes to play well and win a gold medal.

Osaka was once ranked No.1 in the world. She won a tournament in Beijing this month, for her third championship this season.

The Japan Tennis Association says Osaka will be eligible to represent Japan in the Olympics if she plays for the country in one more national team competition organized by the International Tennis Federation.