Naomi Osaka has pledged to donate her earnings from next week’s Western and Southern Open to support earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, the Caribbean nation her father hails from.
- More than 300 people have died in Haiti after a magnitude-7.2 earthquake
- Osaka last year reached the final of the Western and Southern Open
- The total purse for the tournament is $US4.8 million, but that may climb depending on ticket sales
The four-time grand slam champion announced her pledge in response to the magnitude-7.2 quake that struck the country, killing more than 300 people and injuring hundreds.
“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 said 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 [sic] blood is strong we’ll keep rising.”
The total purse for the women’s side of the tournament is $US2.8 million ($3.8 million) and Osaka will take home a good chunk of that if she can replicate her effort from last year, when she reached the final but had to withdraw due to a hamstring injury.
The Japanese world number two has used her platform to advocate for several causes.
She wore masks at last year’s US Open with the names of victims of police violence on them and attended Black Lives Matter rallies.
Osaka has a first-round bye as the second seed at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, which runs until August 22.
Australian world number one Ash Barty also has a bye to start at the opposite end of the draw to Osaka, with Sam Stosur also being given a wildcard.
Alex de Minaur and John Millman are Australia’s representatives on the men’s side, where Russia’s Daniil Medvedev is the top seed.