World Number Three women’s tennis star, Naomi Osaka, has said she will give up her US citizenship to represent Japan at next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.
Osaka was born in Japan to Japanese and Haitian parents before the family moved to New York when she was three.
The 21-year-old told Japanese broadcaster NHK it was a “special desire” to represent her birth country at a home Games.
Osaka represents Japan on the WTA Tour and in the Fed Cup.
“It is a special feeling to aim for the Olympics as a representative of Japan,” she told NHK. “I think that playing with the pride of the country will make me feel more emotional.”
Japanese law states those with dual citizenship must select one before turning 22. Two-time Grand Slam champion Osaka turns that age on 16 October.
According to Japanese news agency Kyodo, Osaka has started the process of obtaining Japanese citizenship.