Robert Prange/Getty Naomi Osaka
Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, is making her debut as an author with her new book, she tells PEOPLE exclusively.
"I wanted to reach young girls in a way that they would enjoy and understand and it was really fun to simplify and celebrate girls in sport," the 24-year-old tennis star says of writing The Way Champs Play. "I knew when I started my company Hana Kuma that we wanted to help tell stories that empowered women and girls, so it was the perfect fit to have this book be the first one we published."
The book — which is illustrated by Kamala Nair and comes out Dec. 6 — is inspired by Osaka's Play Academy and shows girls playing all kinds of sports, from swimming to tennis to basketball. The story shows that girls can take part in sports and find confidence through athleticism, which is something Osaka says she's also working on.
Harper Collins Naomi Osaka
"I am still sorting through finding confidence in myself and what I do — that is why this book means so much," she says. "It's really a process and something I work on daily."
The two-time U.S. Open champ says that though she "really looked up to the Williams sisters and Billie Jean King growing up," there's still a lack of female-driven sports books.
"I always felt there weren't enough female-focused stories out there," she says. "It's nice to see that shifting in all sports."
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And with The Way Champs Play, Osaka is encouraging girls to dream big.
"I hope that young girls see the beauty and benefit in sports and to remember that no dream is too big to dream," she says. "I also love the message that reminds young girls to also have fun, it's something that I think we lose and it's an important part of the game."