Her first love will always be tennis, but off the court, it looks like Naomi Osaka‘s boyfriend takes the cake!
The four-time Grand Slam champ has been dating her current beau since 2019—though, the notoriously private couple didn’t debut their relationship until later that year. In an interview with GQ in February 2021, Osaka’s boyfriend explained why they decided to keep their relationship under wraps for so long: “We were dating for almost a year before people knew about us. So we kind of move very reclusively,” he told the magazine. “We don’t really post intimate moments, because I feel as though they’re sacred. A relationship is really a sacred thing. Once you let outside influences get into it, it becomes less sacred.”
So, you’re probably not alone if you didn’t know about Naomi Osaka‘s boyfriend until now. If you’re ready to learn all about who the lucky guy really is, just keep on reading below!
Naomi Osaka’s boyfriend is Cordae Amari Dunston. Dunston is a rapper who goes by Cordae (formerly known as YBN Cordae) and has already been nominated for two Grammys. In 2019, he was up for Best Rap Album for his debut, The Lost Boy, and Best Rap Song for “Bad Idea.” In January 2023, Osaka announced that she was pregnant with her and Cordae’s first baby together. “The past few years have been interesting to say the least, but I find that its the most challenging times in life that may be the most fun. These few months away from the sport has really given me a new love and appreciation for the game I’ve dedicated my life to. I realize that life is so short and I don’t take any moments for granted, everyday is a new blessing and adventure,” she wrote at the time in an Instagram post. “I know that I have so much to look forward to in the future, one thing I’m looking forward to is for my kid to watch one of my matches and tell someone, ‘that’s my mom’, haha. 2023 will be a year that’ll be full of lessons for me and I hope I’ll see you guys at the start of the next one cause I’ll be at Aus 2023. Love you all infinitely.”
She added, “Sidenote : I don’t think there’s a perfectly correct path to take in life but I always felt that if you move forward with good intentions you’ll find your way eventually.” Osaka also shared a photo of her sonogram. “Can’t wait to get back on the court but here’s a little life update for 2023,” she captioned the photo.
Ever since they started dating, Cordae has even included some subtle shout-outs to his girlfriend in his songs over the years. He first mentioned Osaka on April 2021’s “More Life,” where he raps, “My girl a tennis star.” Cordae also referenced the tennis champ on another song off of his 2021 EP
: “My girl would forfeit a tennis match to meet my grandmama / Man, she truly a keeper,” he raps on “Dream In Color.”
Osaka also thanked Cordae in an Instagram post in 2020 for supporting her at the U.S. Open. “Appreciation post for the mister because I feel like it today 😂🙏🏾,” she wrote along with a photo of her and Cordae. “this pic was right after winning the US Open finals. He stopped everything he was doing because I FaceTimed him a couple days earlier and said I was feeling sad and lonely in the bubble. I later found out that he hopped on a plane shortly after that call and then quarantined himself for a couple days in a hotel to see me and support.” She added that she’s “still convinced he doesn’t understand the rules of tennis lol.”
According to TMZ, Cordae and Osaka started dating sometime in April 2019—but it wasn’t until December 2019 that the pair went public with their relationship. Just over a year later, the private couple finally opened up about their relationship in a profile for GQ.
During the interview, Osaka revealed their first date took place at the Staples Center for a Clippers game. “We were on FaceTime trying to find each other because the arena was so big. And I just remember seeing that there were so many people who wanted to take a picture with him,” she told the magazine. “And I just thought it was really cool how friendly and welcoming he was with everyone.” Sounds like a sweet first impression—and we love that for her!
In 2019, Cordae revealed on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning show that he actually didn’t even know who Osaka was when he first met her. “I know Serena Williams. When you think about tennis, I just know Serena Williams,” he explained, revealing that he wasn’t a huge fan of the sport before he started dating Osaka.
He also told GQ, “”f you asked me about tennis, before being immersed in it because of Naomi, I could only give you Venus and Serena Williams, you know? Because they’re just a part of the culture.”
During their couple’s interview for GQ, Osaka gushed about how Cordae quarantined for her amid the pandemic just to be there for her during the 2020 U.S. Open. “Honestly, he’s quite a romantic dude,” she told the magazine. “During the whole New York thing and with everything that was going on, I started to feel really depressed. Sometimes I would call Cordae, and maybe in some of the calls, I would cry. I don’t remember. [Laughs.] And he flew out, even though he was really busy. I really appreciated that.”
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