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Star tennis player gives up US citizenship for Olympics

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Queens, NY - August 27, 2019: Naomi Osaka competing in the 2019 US Open. (Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)

(NEW YORK) — Tennis phemon Naomi Osaka will give up her U.S. citizenship to compete for Japan at her Olympic debut in Tokyo.

Osaka, who was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Haitian father but raised in the U.S., told NHK World in an interview that she began the process of becoming a Japanese citizen.

“It’s definitely going to be very special. I think there’s no other place that I’d rather play my first Olympics,” Osaka told NHK. “I think that will be one of the most memorable things that ever happens to me.”

Under Japanese law, after Osaka turns 22 on Oct. 16, she will be required as a dual-nationality citizen to choose one.