“Competed Against Ghosts of Ourselves”: Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams and Others Feature in Tokyo Olympics 2020 Campaign

Published 06/23/2021, 7:15 AM EDT
Tennis – A Day at the Drive Exhibition – Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, Australia – January 29, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka with Serena Williams of the U.S. at A Day at The Drive REUTERS/Morgan Sette


In women’s tennis, Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams are two of the most formidable names. Over the past few seasons, the Japanese star has created quite a name for herself; she has been the most successful player, both on and off the courts. 

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Recently, there was an advertisement campaign shot for the Tokyo Olympics 2020, which begins on the 23rd of July. In the short clip, Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams from the tennis fraternity make an appearance. 

During the clip, there is a narration stating, “When the world stood still, the future uncertain, we kept moving. Competed against ghosts. Of ourselves. Of history. But we know progress isn’t forged in the shadows. The gains made in darkness advance no one unless they are carried into the light. The world only moves forward when we move together. This isn’t about breaking records.”

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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2021, Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her first round match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Naomi Osaka is the face of tennis at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

It is a meaningful message, especially given the fact that the event was canceled last year due to the global pandemic. Sports has been a field in which athletes from various backgrounds and races compete against one and another in a healthy manner. Athletes have great competitiveness instilled in them and the Olympic Games is a platform where individuals display this attitude. 

As the clip went on, the narration further states, “But building a place for everyone. Regardless of who they are, where they’re from, or how they shine. It’s about going to the edge of possibility. And see what’s on the other side.

“Together, because no matter how hard or how far we push ourselves, we can never go further than when we push each other. Alone we are small but together we are giants.”

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LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 10: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates after beating Camila Giorgi of Italy in the ladies’ quarter-final at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Coming to tennis, Osaka has been in the news lately for withdrawing from the French Open 2021 and has decided to skip the Wimbledon Championships 2021. She will directly be seen at the Olympic Games.

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On the other hand, Serena will be seen soon on the grass courts of the All England Club, a place where she has enjoyed tremendous success. All eyes will be on her if she can win her 24th Grand Slam title. 

Watch this story: How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, And Other Tennis Stars’ Travel

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Rohan Kollare

869 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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