Leonard Francois

Who Is Naomi Osaka’s Father? Learn More About Leonard Francois And How He Helped Naomi Succeed

Naomi Osaka, the former world number one female tennis player’s father is Leonard Francois. Francois is a tennis coach who has been teaching his daughter Osaka since she was a child.

Furthermore, he and his Japanese partner aided in the development of their daughter, Naomi Osaka’s, tennis career as well as her personal life, assisting her in becoming a four-time Grand Slam singles champion.

Francois raised her to excel at tennis and follow in the footsteps of legends such as Serena Williams, if not outright defeat her. Osaka is extremely close to both her mother, Tamaki Osaka, and her father, Leonard Francois.

Leonard Francois is of Haitian origin

Francois was born in the Haitian city of Jacmel. Leonard Maxime Francois is his full name. His parents did not speak English. They spoke Haitian Creole. Leonard Francois, Naomi Osaka’s father, was born in Haiti and attended New York University. Francois is described as a quiet man by those close to him, and he apparently played some baseball in his youth.

Leonard Francois, Osaka’s father, is in his late 40s and stands roughly 6ft tall. The father of the four-time Grand Slam singles winner has yet to speak in depth about his son’s birth and parentage. He, on the other hand, celebrates his birthday on December 1st. Leonard Francois has a wife. He is married to Tamaki, who lives in Nemuro, Hokkaido, Japan. Francois met her while studying at New York University and visiting Hokkaido.

Tamaki was in high school at the time, while her future husband was in college. For years, the two dated in secret. Her family didn’t speak to her for over a decade and a half after they found out. Tamaki’s family only recently reconnected with their daughter. Francois was among the first foreigners to arrive in Sapporo in 1990.

Tamaki’s Family Was Against Her Relationship With Leonard Francois

According to rumors, Francois had a difficult time marrying his now-wife Tamaki because he was black. Leonard was one of only a few black men in all of Hokkaido at the time. Meanwhile, her parents, according to Tamaki, were already in the process of arranging her arranged marriage.

Her father erupted in wrath when he learned she was dating a foreigner who also happened to be black. He then chastised her for bringing shame to the family. The coastal community of Nemuro remained adhered to Tokugawa’s 1630s vow to maintain a racially pure Japan.

Francois and his wife relocated to Osaka

Following the repercussions, the couple relocated to Osaka, Japan. They improved their Japanese and found work there. Mari was also born to them. Naomi was born 18 months later. Naomi was welcomed while they were still in Osaka. Mari and Naomi were born in 1996 and 1997, respectively.

When Naomi was three, the couple relocated to Long Island to live with Francois’ family.

Naomi Osaka’s father began coaching her tennis when she was three years old

Leonard and his family then relocated to Florida in 2006 in order to provide better training possibilities for his girls. Mari, their eldest daughter, played tennis until March 2021. Naomi’s sister wrote in an announcement of her retirement, “I’m no longer playing tennis.” It was a difficult trip, but I’m happy for the memories and support I’ve gained and received from the sport throughout the years.” Mari retired from tennis due to a series of injuries she sustained over her career.

Why Didn’t Leonard Francois Give His Last Name to His Daughters?

When the family lived in Japan, Francois and his wife, Tamaki, gave their two daughters the latter’s family name for practical reasons. It was largely used for school enrollment and apartment rentals. However, as Leonard’s daughter grew up in America, their name would serve as a daily reminder of the country that they would one day represent.

What led him to teach his daughters tennis?

Leonard claims that the Williams sisters’ father, Richard Williams, motivated him to teach tennis to his own daughters. He had seen the Williams sisters battle at the French Open in 1999. Despite having limited experience as a tennis player himself, he attempted to replicate how Richard groomed his daughters to become two of the world’s top players.

Leonard Francois claims that after hearing Richard Williams and his daughter’s tale, he decided to teach his daughters tennis. It happened one evening in 1999, when his daughters were toddlers. He heard Venus and Serena Williams, who were 18 and 17 at the time, winning the doubles title that year. When he moved to the United States, he began instructing Naomi and Mari. The former was three at the time.

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He was able to begin training his kids in earnest after moving to Long Island, where he had access to a gym and free public courts. He made the girls hit hundreds, then thousands, of balls per day with the help of instructional books and DVDs.

Why Did Leonard And His Wife Choose Naomi To Play For Japan?

Despite growing up in the United States, Francois and his wife decided that Osaka and her sisters would represent Japan. “We made the decision that Naomi would represent Japan at a young age,” they explained. She was born in Osaka and was raised in a Japanese and Haitian household.”

Naomi and her sister Mari had always felt Japanese, according to the coach and his wife, and that was their only explanation. The Haitian-Japanese couple added that the decision was never based on money and that they did not accept any national federation’s offer.

In August 2021, Forbes published its annual ranking of the highest-paid tennis players. And Francois’ daughter, Naomi, was named one of the top five highest-paid tennis players (men and women) in the world, earning more money off the court than on it.

Net Worth And Impressive Earnings Of His Daughter

Naomi Osaka, Leonard Francois’ daughter, will be the highest-paid female tennis player in 2021.
In 2020, Osaka, who was ranked third at the time, surpassed Serena Williams as the highest-paid female athlete in the world. She also has deals with companies such as Nike, Sweetgreen, Barbie, and Nissan, among many others.

In 2020, Noami earned $5.1 million on the court and $55 million off the court. She was just behind Roger Federer, who earned more than $90 million off the court in 2021. It’s worth noting that Osaka is one of the world’s most marketable athletes, ranking eighth among all athletes in endorsement income in 2020.

Does he continue to coach his daughter Naomi?

While Francois continues to monitor his daughters’ training and watches almost every shot, Naomi has made it clear that he may no longer be his mentor. In an interview, she stated, “You know, he’s always there. But I don’t think he’ll be able to handle it.”

She also stated that her father dislikes watching her matches and believes it stresses him out. The now 24-year-old tennis star also stated that, while her father takes his coaching role very seriously, it is a long-term commitment for him.


  • Leonard Francois prioritized his first daughter, Mari, at first because Naomi showed little promise. She would frequently sit on a side court with her mother while Leonard worked with Mari.
  • Despite training her, Francois only gets a few glimpses of Naomi during the match via the television feed.

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