Naomi Osaka- “The People I Idolized Were Wearing Nike”

Published 05/13/2019, 9:53 AM EDT
Naomi Osaka


The Japanese World Number one, Naomi Osaka has not claimed a title since her Australian Open 2019 triumph against Petra Kvitova in the finals in Melbourne. And last week, she was knocked down by the Swiss, Belinda Bencic in the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open 2019.

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In the month of April, Naomi Osaka made a transition from Adidas and signed up with the American sports gear manufacturers, Nike. Also, she became the first tennis player to receive permission for logos of rival sponsors on her Nike gears. Presently, her outfit bears Nissan and the Japanese airlines, ANA patches and a Mastercard logo on her tennis visor. 

Nissan and the Japanese airlines, ANA patches on her outfit and a Mastercard logo on her tennis visor

Before beginning her matches at Italian Open 2019 in the Lazio region of Italy, she was asked about the reasons behind her switch from Adidas to Nike. “That was a very blunt question”, Naomi Osaka replied with a grin.

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As a budding tennis player, she revered the athletes who wore Nike and she perceives it to be an impact of her switch. “I don’t know. I guess it’s because growing up all of the people I idolized were wearing Nike. I think that was a big influence on that”, Naomi Osaka continued.

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Her deal with Adidas was expired at the end of 2018 and she did not consider about extending it. Before signing up with Nike, Naomi Osaka turned down other sponsorship deals and according to some sources, she also denied Uniqlo.   

Naomi Osaka

The 21-year-old Naomi Osaka played her first tournament with Nike at Stuttgart Open 2019. She reached the semifinals there and claimed it to be her first ever semifinal on clay. However, woefully, Nomai Osaka couldn’t participate in the match as she withdrew due to an abdominal injury. 

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The two-time Grand Slam champion has arrived in Rome for the Italian Open 2019. She is drawn to play Dominika Cibulkova in the opening round of the Rome Masters 2019.

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Mahalakshmi Murali

1906 articles

Mahalakshmi Murali joined EssentiallySports in 2018 as a tennis author and has gone on to pen more than 1800 engaging articles, probing into various aspects of the sport and its illustrious players. With her expertise on the sport, Mahalakshmi has interviewed stalwarts from the sport such as Serena WIlliams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou and Kevin Anderson’s physio, Carlos Costa. Equipped with her vast experience and a keen understanding of the sport, Mahalakshmi now co-heads the tennis department.

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