Naomi Osaka is the cover star of Allure magazine‘s August issue and in a lengthy interview with Brennan Kilbane the young two-time Grand Slam champion reveals the driving forces of her success.
Preparing for the 2019 claycourt season and eating a lamb pizza at a trendy restaurant in Venice, California, Osaka, still the WTA No.1 at the time, reinforced the importance of hard work over talent:
There’s a certain point where talent isn’t useful anymore, and from there you’ve just got to want to win more than everyone else. I think that’s something I noticed from an early age, so that’s what I’ve been fortunate with. I mean, the way that I grew up and the circumstances that sort of surrounded me kind of forced me to think that way.
My favorite part of the interview is when she said that fear of being homeless pushed her to be so dedicated to success:
My parents weren’t exactly the richest, so what am I going to do? I’m not really the smartest. I’ve been playing tennis my whole life, you know? So there’s nothing I can imagine myself doing. It’s either I have to be the best or I’m going to be homeless.
In the photographs by Wai Lin Tse, Osaka is clad in swimwear by Stella McCartney and Mara Hoffman.
Visit the Allure cover story to hear more from Osaka, including her top exercise and beauty tips (running intervals on the treadmill and indulging in sunscreen).