The rising popularity of cryptocurrency has piqued the interest of defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka, who has been looking into investing in the area. Part of her curiosity stemmed from the buzz around Dogecoin, the digital token most known for being the first meme coin to begin as a joke.
“I was actually just talking with my agent about cryptocurrencies,” Osaka stated in an interview last week. “I know that online, everything is getting bigger. I remember reading about Dogecoin … there’s going to be something new and interesting that’s going to pop up.”
Even before her agent approached her with the notion to invest, Osaka said the constant stream of talks about Dogecoin, particularly on her Twitter page, piqued her curiosity.
The 23-year-old has shown a sharp business acumen and a willingness to put her own money on the line in a way that few other tennis players do at this stage of their careers. This includes investments in the Sweetgreen salad chain and the North Carolina Courage, a professional women’s soccer team. Last week, she also introduced her own nonfungible coin (NFT).
“As athletes, our career isn’t that long, and so I just like being very smart with it,” Osaka claimed. “I like when my agent tells me there’s opportunities. And in a weird way, I like to fail a little bit because it makes you understand what didn’t work and why.” “My boyfriend really loves to wake up in the morning and check his stuff,” Osaka said. “I’m personally not a person that does that, but I can see the appeal.”
Osaka has swiftly risen to the top of the list of the highest-paid female athletes of all time, thanks to her Grand Slam success and willingness to speak out for social justice causes, which has attracted businesses looking to collaborate with her.
She gave a speech at an event to promote TAG Heuer, a Swiss timepiece that enlisted her as a brand ambassador earlier this year.
Tennis players have long been used to promote high-end watches: Roger Federer has long been linked with Rolex, Novak Djokovic partnered with Hublot before this year’s U.S. Open, and Rafael Nadal is renowned for wearing his Richard Mille—a brand whose costs may exceed $1 million—during matches.
After withdrawing from the French Open and Wimbledon earlier this year, Osaka is back at a Grand Slam event. She revealed she’d been depressed for a long time after her withdrawal from Paris. Osaka, who has won a Grand Slam title in each of the previous four years, said she wouldn’t mind going incognito once in a while to escape the spotlight. “I like to people-watch, so I just like to walk around,” she said of what she’d like to do in New York if she had the opportunity. “I love Bryant Park, so I get a tea and sit there for a couple hours.”
On Monday, she will begin her title defense with a first-round night encounter in Arthur Ashe Stadium, which will once again greet the city’s tennis fans.