Naomi Osaka to donate Cincinnati prize money to Haitian earthquake relief efforts

Tennis star Naomi Osaka, who is of Japanese and Haitian descent, tweeted her solidarity with Haiti. This week's Cincinnati tournament is just the second event for Osaka since she took a mental health break from the Tour.

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka will give all her proceeds from the WTA Tour's upcoming Cincinnati event to the earthquake victims in Haiti.   -  REUTERS

Naomi Osaka will give all her proceeds from the WTA Tour's upcoming Cincinnati event to the earthquake victims in Haiti,  which was rocked by a devastating 7.2-magnitude quake on Saturday.

The highest-paid female tennis star has a personal connection to the disaster-plagued Caribbean country: Her father is from there.

"Really hurts to see all the devastation that's going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can't catch a break," Osaka wrote on Twitter.

 

"I'm about to play a tournament this week, and I'll give all the prize money to relief efforts for Haiti. I know our ancestors' blood is strong we'll keep rising."

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The massive quake struck Haiti's southwestern peninsula early on Saturday, killing at least 304 people and leaving churches, businesses and schools crumbled.

The 23-year-old Osaka was born in Japan, where her mother is from and has lived in the United States since she was three.

On Saturday, American President Joe Biden approved immediate aid to Haiti and said the US would be assisting recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Osaka's father, Leonard Francois, is from the Jacmel region on the southwestern peninsula close to the epicentre of Saturday's quake. Osaka has said her upbringing included learning about both Japanese and Haitian culture.

Her Haitian grandparents didn't speak English, so they only spoke Creole to her.

This week's Cincinnati tournament is just the second event for Osaka since she took a mental health break from the Tour.

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