Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

Popular This Week

Net Notes - A Tennis Now Blog

Net Posts

Industry Insider - A Tennis Now Blog

Industry Insider

Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

Second Serve


By Alberto Amalfi | @Tennis_Now | Sunday, January 7, 2024
Naomi Osaka launched her comeback in Brisbane last week. 

Mari Osaka, Naomi Osaka's older sister, dropped a major bombshell on Instagram charging their father Leonard François with committing domestic abuse against her and her mother, Tamaki Osaka.

More: Richard Evans on HOF, GOAT and Top Rivalry

In a shocking post to an Instagram account listed to her name, Mari Osaka, alleges her father committed domestic abuse, warns him "I will kill you unless you kill me first" and calls herself "the daughter to the devil. God help me when he comes again."

It's a scathing indictment of the father Mari Osaka brands an abuser and says has "failed in every way imaginable."

The post to Mari Osaka's account and her social media channels have since been deleted.

This screen shot is a capture of the Instagram post listed to Mari Osaka's account.

Mari Osaka's post includes a photo of her father and tags ioaproductions, which is an Instagram account listed as a non-profit organization under her father's name.

"You've abused me since I was young and you continue to harass my mother," the post to Mari Osaka's now deleted Instagram account reads. "You continue to emotionally abuse her and trespass into our home when you have your own.

"I'm making this public knowledge because you are a coward who hides behind his physical ability to beat me down and our refusal to call the cops on you.This is it. I'm really done with you and the next time I see your face, I'm calling the police. Consider this a threat.

"I will fight back and I will fight for both of us. I will kill you unless you kill me first by bringing a gun like the coward you are.

"So let's see what type of man you really are even though I've already known since birth I'm the daughter to the devil.

"God help me when he comes again."

Leonard François is the father and original coach of both Mari Osaka and Naomi Osaka, who has not yet publicly commented on the abuse allegations cited in the Instagram post. He has returned to serve as Naomi Osaka's interim coach a couple of times in past years.

Leonard François is Haitian and his wife, Tamaki Osaka, is Japanese. Their daughters, Mari Osaka and Naomi Osaka, were initially brought up in Queens and Long Island, New York before the family moved to Florida where the sisters both trained extensively for their tennis careers.  

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka openly discussed her mental health issues and battle with depression, eventually taking a 15-month sabbatical from the sport for both mental health and to give birth to daughter Shai last July.

Naomi Osaka, who has reunited with her former coach Wim Fissette, made her comeback in Brisbane last week.

In her first tournament since giving birth to baby Shai, the two-time Australian Open champion won her opener over Tamara Korpatsch 6-3, 7-6(9).

In a clash of former world No. 1 players, Karolina Pliskova pumped 16 aces rallying past Naomi Osaka 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 into the Brisbane round of 16.

In 2019, Naomi Osaka won back-to-back titles in her hometown of Osaka and Beijing with Leonard François coaching her.

Despite their success, Osaka said then her father will not be her full-time coach. Because dad gets too tight watching her play.

"He's always there, you know. But I don't think he can handle it," Osaka said of her father. "Like, not even just saying this, but he doesn't like watching my matches. I think it stresses him out because he, like, twitches every time I hit a ball.

"He said he'll take the [coaching] role very seriously, but I don't think it's a long-term thing.”

Photo credit: Rob Keating/Wikimedia Commons