Australian Open champ Naomi Osaka is an undeniable threat on the tennis court, something boyfriend, rapper YBN Cordae, was completely unaware of before they began dating.
“It’s not my sport,” the rapper, born Cordae Amari Dunston, told GQ for their Modern Love cover. “If 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.”
The Grammy-nominated MC went on to admit he “felt really out of place” while supporting his girlfriend of two years at the 2019 U.S. Open.
“I don’t know if I ever told Naomi this or not, but I felt really out of place. Like, that was my first time being in an environment like that in my entire life,” he told GQ. “My elementary school, middle school, high school was 99.9 percent Black. Kids who look like me. It just felt really weird for me being in that space. That was my first tennis match ever.”
The couple, who attended a Los Angeles Clippers game for their first date, went through a period of adjustment in their early days, Osaka says.
Naomi Osaka and YBN Cordae attend a basketball game.Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images
“I start super early in the morning, and then I end late afternoon. But I feel like for him everything starts at night. So it was kind of hard to adjust to that in the beginning. But when I did, I felt pretty comfortable,” she told the mag. “I wouldn’t say there was a moment where I felt like he did when he went to the Open or anything like that.”