Who Is Leonard Francois? Everything About Naomi Osaka’s Father

Naomi Osaka, a former world-number-one female tennis player, is the daughter of Leonard Francois. Coach Francois coached his daughter Osaka when she was a young girl.

Leonard Francois and his Japanese partner also aided in the development of their daughter Naomi Osaka’s tennis career and off-court lifestyle, making her a four-time Grand Slam singles champion.

She was raised by Francois to play tennis well, emulate greats like Serena Williams, or even memorably defeat her. Osaka is extremely close with both her father, Leonard Francois, and her mother, Tamaki Osaka.

This article examines the person responsible for being the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles championship.

Haitian-born Leonard Francois Francois was born in the Haitian city of Jacmel. He is Leonard Maxime Francois in full. His parents did not speak English. They spoke Creole from Haiti.

Leonard Francois, the father of Naomi Osaka, is of Haitian Creole descent.
Leonard Francois, the father of Naomi Osaka, was educated at New York University after being born in Haiti.

Francois is described as a quiet man by those who know him well. He reportedly played baseball in his early years.

Leonard Francois, Osaka’s father, is about 6 feet tall and is thought to be in his late 40s. The father of the four-time Grand Slam singles winner has yet to provide specific details about his birth and parentage. On the other hand, he observes his birthday on December 1.

The wife of Leonard Francois is his wife. Francois Tamaki is a married guy. His wife Tamaki, who lives in Nemuro, Hokkaido, Japan, is his wife. As a New York University student visiting Hokkaido, Francois first met her.

Then, Tamaki was a high school student, while her future husband was a college student. They dated covertly for many years. After they found out, her family stopped communicating with her for approximately 15 years. Only in 2008 did Tamaki’s family reestablish contact with their daughter.

Around 1990, Francois was one of the first foreigners to arrive in Sapporo.

Her family opposed the relationship between Tamaki and Leonard Francois.
According to the stories, Francois had a lot of difficulties getting married to Tamaki, who is now his wife, simply because he was black. Leonard was one of the few black men in all of Hokkaido at the time.

Tamaki also claimed that her parents had already begun the process of finding matches for her arranged marriage.

Leonard Francois’s relationship with Tamaki was frowned upon by her family.
Couple: Leonard Francois and Naomi Osaka

Her father, however, erupted in wrath when he learned that she was seeing a foreigner who also happened to be black. Then he castigated her for embarrassing the family. The seaside village of Nemuro continued to uphold Tokugawa’s 1630s order to preserve an ethnically pure Japan at that time.

Moving to Osaka, Francois and his spouse gave birth to Naomi and her sister.

The couple relocated to Osaka in the south following the split. There they obtained employment and improved their Japanese. Mari was also given to them as a parent. After 18 months, they had Naomi. Naomi was welcomed when she was still in Osaka. Naomi and Mari were both born in 1997.

When Naomi was 3 years old, the couple relocated to Long Island to live with Francois’ family.

Then, to provide his daughters with greater training possibilities, Leonard moved to Florida in 2006 together with his wife and kids.

Mari, their oldest daughter, played tennis until March 2021. In a letter announcing her retirement, Naomi’s sister

“I’ve given up playing tennis. Even if I didn’t love the voyage in the end, I am thankful for the memories and encouragement I have amassed during the years in the sport.

Mari gave up tennis due to several injuries she sustained throughout her career.

Why Didn’t Leonard Francois Give His Daughters His Last Name?
When the family lived in Japan, Francois and his wife Tamaki gave the family name of the latter to their two daughters for practical reasons.

It was mostly used to rent apartments and enroll in schools. Their moniker, though, would serve as a continual reminder of the country they would one day do as Leonard’s daughter grew up in America.

What Made Him Teach His Daughters Tennis?

Leonard claims that Richard Williams, the father of the Williams sisters, encouraged him to teach tennis to his daughters. He had witnessed the 1999 French Open action involving the Williams sisters. Despite having little tennis expertise, he tried to follow Richard’s lead in developing his daughters into two of the sport’s top players.

François claimed in an interview that “the plan was already there. I only had to adhere to it.

Leonard Francois claims that after hearing Richard Williams and his daughter’s tale, he decided to teach his girls tennis.

It happened one evening in 1999 when his daughters were still very young. To win the doubles championship that year, Venus and Serena Williams, who were then 18 and 17, teamed up.

So, after moving to America, he started training Naomi and Mari. The first was three at the time.

After relocating to Long Island, he was able to start his plan to coach his girls in earnest because he had access to a gym and free public courts. He forced the girls to hit hundreds, then thousands, of balls each day while providing them with instructional books and DVDs.

Why did Leonard and his wife choose Naomi to represent Japan as a player?

Osaka and her sisters will represent Japan even though they were born and raised in the United States, according to Francois and his wife. “We decided that Naomi would represent Japan at a young age,” they said. She was raised in a home that blended Haitian and Japanese cultures after being born in Osaka.

Naomi and her sister Mari always identified as Japanese, the coach and his wife said, and that was the only explanation for their behavior. The Haitian-Japanese pair emphasized that money was never a factor in their choice and acknowledged that they turned down offers from any national federation.

In August 2021, Forbes revealed its annual rankings of the highest-paid tennis players. He assisted his daughter in becoming the highest-paid female athlete ever. And Naomi, Francois’ daughter, was among the top five tennis players in the world in terms of earnings, both male and female, who earned more money off the court than on it.

In 2020, Osaka, who was ranked No. 3 at the time, overtook Serena Williams to become the highest-paid female athlete in the world. She also has business relationships with other companies, including Barbie, Nissan, Nike, and Sweetgreen.

In 2020, Noami made $55 million outside of the court and $5.1 million on the court. She was barely ahead of Roger Federer, who earned almost $90 million in 2021 solely from his off-court earnings.

Osaka is one of the most marketable athletes in the world; she came in at number eight among all athletes for endorsement money in 2020.

Naomi, does he still train her?

While Francois continues to monitor his daughters’ training and nearly every shot, Naomi has made it apparent that he may no longer serve as his mentor.

You know, he’s always there. However, I don’t believe he can manage it.

She continued by saying that her father finds it stressful to watch her matches and doesn’t like doing so. The now 24-year-old tennis pro added that while her father takes his work as a coach very seriously, it’s something he plans to do for a while.

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