Osaka plans to help out Haiti earthquake relief efforts

PARIS, FRANCE May 30. Naomi Osaka of Japan during her match against Patricia Maria Tig of Romania in the first round of the Women's Singles competition on Court Philippe-Chatrier at the 2021 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on May 30th 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka says she is going to give all her proceeds from the WTA Tour’s upcoming Cincinnati event to the earthquake victims in Haiti which was rocked by a devastating 7.2-magnitude quake on Saturday.

The highest-paid female tennis star has a personal connection to the disaster-plagued Caribbean country, her father being from Haiti.

“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 wrote 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’ blood is strong we’ll keep rising.”

The 23-year-old Osaka was born in Japan where her mother is from and has lived in the United States since age three.

Osaka’s father, Leonard Francois, is from the Jacmel region on the southwestern peninsula close to the epicenter of Saturday’s quake. Osaka has said her upbringing included learning about both Japanese and Haitian culture

The massive quake struck Haiti’s southwestern peninsula early Saturday, killing at least 304 people and leaving churches, business and schools crumbled.

This week’s Cincinnati tournament is just the second event for Osaka since she took a mental health break from the Tour.