Naomi Osaka appears on cover of TIME magazine

Cape Town - Naomi Osaka finally got the credit she deserves when she appeared on the cover of the January issue of TIME magazine.

The 2018 US Open champion took a back seat to finals opponent Serena Williams’ outburst in New York, with her becoming Japan’s first ever grand slam champion being missed by many. 

Now, the world number four stands to ride the wave of her achievements all the way to the cover of the famous magazine. The feature tracks her tennis roots and interesting past, as well as providing insight from her Haitian father Leonard and her sister Mari. 

"Once she puts her focus on something, she never strays from it," Mari told writer Sean Gregory.

"It gets to the point where it’s almost ridiculous."

Meanwhile, Osaka is just focused on being herself ahead of another year on the WTA Tour.

"You really never know what people can do," said the 20-year-old.

"And how people can change. I don’t think there is ever going to be another Serena Williams. I think I’m going to be me. And I hope people are okay with that."

The Japanese-born right-hander is set to open her Australian Open campaign against Magda Linette on Tuesday in Melbourne.