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Naomi Osaka Quietly Dated Rapper Cordae For Years—Here’s Their Relationship Time

From low-key loves to parents-to-be.

Naomi Osaka is a force to be reckoned with—that much has always been clear to those of us who’ve followed her wildly successful tennis career over the years. 

And it turns out, it’s not just the 25-year-old’s sizeable legion of fans who throw their support behind the athlete each time she steps onto the court—her partner is her biggest fan of all. 

Yes, while the Japanese tennis player’s relationship with US rapper Cordae might be a little less famous than her impressive serve, that’s exactly the way they like it. 

Albeit sparingly, the couple have shared a couple of sweet anecdotes about each other over the years, and it’s clear they’re only going from strength to strength.

In 2023, it was revealed the pair are now expecting their first child together, which means its high time to take a fond look back at their relationship—from game, to set, to match. 

(Credit: Instagram / @naomiosaka)

Who is Naomi Osaka’s partner, Cordae?

Naomi Osaka is currently dating American rapper Cordae Amari Dunston, who is mononymously known as Cordae. 

The 24-year-old from North Carolina first gained popularity for his remixes of popular rap tracks by Eminem and J. Cole. 

In 2019, he was named as a member of hip hop magazine XXL‘s Freshman Class of emerging rappers alongside the likes of Megan Thee Stallion and Roddy Ricch. 

That same year, he scored two Grammy nominations for his debut album, The Lost Boy. No small feat for the 21-year-old at the time. 

How did Cordae and Naomi Osaka meet?

Cordae has revealed in previous interviews that he and Osaka met at a Los Angeles Clippers game, believed to be sometime in 2018 or 2019. At the time, he knew little about tennis, citing that his knowledge started and ended with the famous Williams sisters—little did he know he’d just brushed shoulders with international tennis royalty! 

Lack of tennis knowledge aside, it seemed the pair hit it off immediately. In April 2019, TMZ Sports first reported that the pair were seeing each other, but they weren’t “official” at that stage. 

Shortly after, Osaka went Instagram official with Cordae by sharing a video of him to her Story. In December 2019, they then went fully public by attending another Clippers game together. 

Once it was all out in the open, Cordae told GQ in 2021, “We were dating for almost a year before people knew about us. So we kind of move very reclusively. 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.” 

These days, the pair have frequently been spotted together in public, even attending the Met Gala together in September 2021 where Cordae supported Osaka as one of the evening’s hosts. 

(Credit: Getty)

Naomi Osaka and Cordae’s relationship

Since they went public, Osaka and Cordae have been a little more liberal in publicly sharing their admiration for each other. 

In the same GQ interview, Osaka said Cordae had been a pivotal support system who helped her win the 2020 US Open, which took place during one of the worst initial COVID-19 case peaks.

“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,” she told the publication.

“And he flew out, even though he was really busy. I really appreciated that. I’m not sure if I’ve told him that. I feel like he actually really helped me win just, like, keeping up the motivation.”

In January 2022, Osaka shared a rare tribute on Instagram for her boyfriend as he released his second album, From A Birds Eye View

“Getting closer to someone and seeing how much love and dedication they put into their craft is truly inspiring,” she wrote.

“Makes you feel like some people are born to do certain things, @cordae you’re a star and a light, quite literally brighten up every room you walk in (or maybe it’s your hair lol). Congratulations on your 2nd album, proud of you.” 

A couple of days later, Osaka won her first match in the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. Instead of writing her signature on the television camera lens as is tradition for winners Down Under, Osaka wrote across it: “F.A.B.E.V.” with a heart . The acronym of course was reference to her boyfriend’s new album. 

In December 2022, Osaka’s fans began to speculate whether she would compete in the 2023 Australian Open set for the following month. The tennis star had been keeping a low-key presence, which as it turned out, was for a very important reason. 

Taking to Instagram in January, the tennis star revealed she was pregnant with her first child and would be taking the year off from playing sport. 

“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,” she shared, adding, “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 some of my matches and tell someone, ‘That’s my mom.'”

She finished by saying she would be back playing tennis next year (kicking off with the 2024 Australian Open), and would be taking time to learn “new lessons” with her new baby. 

Suffice to say we can’t wait to see Osaka and Cordae become parents. 

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