Discover the many sides of Naomi Osaka ahead of the Australian Open
Find out more about our Mastercard ambassador Naomi Osaka, as she describes her many other passions beyond tennis.
“People see this reserved tennis player, but that’s just one Naomi. Once you get to know me, there’s quite a few…”
- Naomi Osaka, 2021
When you get below the surface of Naomi’s passions, these words of hers begin to ring true. One thing’s for sure: tennis isn’t her only game. At just 23, she’s already living life to the full, and from her horse riding adventures and her love of fashion, to slaying it at ‘The Elder Scrolls’, her favourite open-world game, there’s far more to Naomi Osaka than meets the eye...
One Naomi can be found walking in nature. “Sometimes when I’m in my training/work routine, I get caught up in my own little world,” she says, “Being in nature helps me relax and realize that there’s still a lot for me to discover out there…” And sooner or later, you’ll catch her galloping on horseback through the LA hills -- because, as she simply puts it, “When I ride a horse, I am in a beautiful place. So it makes me feel really connected to my surroundings.”
Another Naomi is always armed with her trusty Nikon camera to capture anything beautiful she sees. “I have always loved taking pictures,“ she explains, “There’s something really satisfying about a perfectly framed photo… “ So naturally, she’s sure to pack her camera whenever she travels. Because, as she concludes, “Being able to look back and see all of the places I’ve been able to visit reminds me that I’m incredibly fortunate.”
Then there’s the Naomi, game console in hand, who’s ready for another marathon gaming session. When asked how she got into the pastime, Naomi is candid. “My sister and I would have time between practice and dinner each night...and we found ourselves getting lost in games.” Does she have her favourites? You bet. “Open-world games… I get completely engrossed in the worlds that they create.” And as for a favourite game character, her choice speaks volumes. “My fave is definitely Mercy from Overwatch. She’s known for her healing properties and takes care of the other characters.”
Or perhaps you’ll meet the Naomi who loves the creative aspect of fashion and proudly collaborates with the likes of ADEAM. She’s always loved mixing sportswear, especially sneakers, with her favourite luxury and high street pieces. Recently appointed to Global Ambassador for Louis Vuitton, Naomi can hardly wait to get to work. “I am excited to learn more from Nicolas Ghesquiere,” she says.
Brands she loves are ADEAM, Louis Vuitton, Alexander Wang, Caroline Constas, Cult Gaia, Cushnie, Jacquemus, Johanna Ortiz, Jonathan Simkhai, Monse, Nike, Off-White, Levis, Pyer Moss, Tag Heuer and Zimmerman. Her Japanese heritage definitely has an influence too. “Japan was my first exposure to experimenting with fashion and it taught me that it’s okay to take risks both on and off court.”
There’s even a Naomi who nurtures a passion for manga characters, the lifeblood of Japanese comics. She recently created a Manga of herself... “I wanted my character to be really girly and cute but also powerful.” As for her character’s future, Naomi’s response is typically determined: “Even though the manga takes place in space, I’m excited to see how she handles the challenges that she’s faced with, because the lessons are applicable in our world as well.”
With so many sides to this talented human being than simply a great tennis player, her future is undeniably bright. And no one puts it better than one of her heroes and a longtime admirer, Martina Navratilova:
“She’s not just a hitter. She’s a thinker… She has the potential to do greater things off the court than on the court. It gives me goosebumps talking about it...”