What’s up with WTA players and children’s books?


WTA players often look for a way to diversify away from tennis and invest in projects that are not related to their main area of expertise. Interestingly, Grand Slam champions Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, Ashleigh Barty, and Bianca Andreescu have all ventured into the world of children’s books.

Naomi Osaka, “The Way Champs Play”

The latest player to launch her own children’s book is Naomi Osaka. Titled “The Way Champs Play,” the former world No.1’s publication is set to be released on December 6th by the tennis star’s own production company Hana Kuma.

The four-time major champion Osaka wrote about the project:

I hope this book inspires kids to chase their dreams and encourages them to believe they can do anything they put their minds to.

A portion of the proceeds will go towards Osaka’s Play Academy foundation which works to support young girls in sport.

It’s the most recent in a series of Osaka’s off-the-court ventures. Besides countless high-profile sponsorships, endorsements and partnerships, Osaka also launched her own skincare brand called Kinló and left IMG to co-found her own sports agency Evolve.

Serena Williams, “The Adventures of Qai Qai”

Serena Williams is the author of “The Adventures of Qai Qai,” a picture book in which a little girl learns to believe in herself with the help of her doll and best friend, Qai Qai. The 23-time Grand Slam champion sends a message that your dreams will come true if you have a strong power of imagination and representation.


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A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams)

Ashleigh Barty, “Little Ash”


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A post shared by Ash Barty (@ashbarty)

Soon after retiring from tennis, Ashleigh Barty announced the “Little Ash” series of children’s books, written by Jasmin McGaughey and illustrated by Jade Goodwin. The Australian WTA ace loves reading to her niece and nephew, as their faces light up when they read a book they love. Presenting her series of books aimed at readers aged five and up, Barty said:

Supporting kids’ education is something I’m passionate about and if I can help encourage new readers that will make me very happy.

Bianca Andreescu, “Bibi’s Got Game”

Bianca Andreescu authored “Bibi’s Got Game” based on her life as an athlete who learns to dispel self-doubt and overcome tough moments. The 2019 US Open champion said about her book:

For my first picture book, I wanted to share my story and how meditation (and my dog, Coco) keep me focused. Maybe it will inspire other kids to follow their dreams!

In the past, we were used to successful tennis players releasing autobiographies, but now children’s literature is becoming a thing in the WTA world. It’s probably a good side investment and an enjoyable project to work on.


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