Naomi Osaka Gets Candid About the Pressures of Attention and Activism in New Netflix Docuseries

The three-part docuseries, 'Naomi Osaka,' debuts July 16 on Netflix.

Naomi Osaka is more just an athlete.

That's the message the 23-year-old tennis star is struggling with in the trailer for her upcoming Netflix docuseries, Naomi Osaka, which follows the four-time Grand Slam winner, on and off the court, during a two-year period in which she stepped into the spotlight in a major way.

"I think the amount of attention that I get is kind of ridiculous," Osaka says in the trailer for the upcoming three-part series, which debuts on July 16. "No one prepares you for that."

When you announce yourself on the world stage by dethroning your hero to become your country's first-ever Grand Slam winner, however, attention is certainly going to follow. And that's just what Osaka did when she beat Serena Williams in an emotional, contentious finals match at the 2018 U.S. Open. 

Since then, there's been no slowing down for the tennis star, who is the current reigning champion at the U.S. and Australian Opens. In Naomi Osaka, viewers will get an inside look at the life of one of the world's biggest athletes, as she deals with the question of identity, the importance of activism and the pressures of life in the spotlight, in addition to her physically grueling sport.

"For so long, I've tied winning to my worth as a person," she reflects. "To anyone that would know me, they'd know me as a tennis player. So like, what am I if I'm not a good tennis player?"

Watch the full trailer below:

"The series is about Naomi's journey, within a snapshot of her life, but it’s also about life's purpose, about personal worth, about the courage that it takes to allow one's personal values to inform their work and vice versa," said director Garrett Bradley in a release. "More than anything, I’d hope people can feel the power of empathy and to feel encouraged to take chances in life, perhaps especially in moments where the stakes can feel impossibly high."

Osaka made headlines during the U.S. Open last year, when she donned a face mask sporting the name of a different victim of police violence ahead of every match on her way to another Grand Slam title. 

"None of these deaths had to happen," she said in a post-game press conference at the time. "I just want everyone to know the names more."

This year, Osaka withdrew from Wimbledon and the French Open, citing the need to focus on her mental health and well-being, but she is currently gearing up for her Olympics debut later this summer, where she will compete for host nation Japan at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

See more on Osaka in the video below.



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