Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has been dishing out surprises in 2021. The latest shock came when Osaka made the cover of the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.
Osaka joins rap luminary Megan Thee Stallion and actress-activist Leyna Bloom for three different covers for the annual SI Swimsuit edition.
— Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) July 19, 2021
This surprise follows Osaka’s highly controversial withdrawal from the French Open in May and Wimbledon Grand Slam in June in order to preserve her mental well-being. Not long after that announcement, Osaka, 23, told the world that she was going to represent Japan in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, which rubbed some Americans the wrong way.
Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam singles champion, modeled a stylish, black asymmetrical one-piece, replete with sheer panels and accessorized with seashell hoop earrings.
Sports Illustrated’s editor-in-chief MJ Day couldn’t help but gloat over the three dynamic covers.
“If there’s one thing that our cover models have in common, it’s that they don’t have one thing in common,” said in a press release. “They look different, have different upbringings, have different passions and inspirations. But each is a reminder that beauty comes in many forms.”
Also, on July 16, 2021, Netflix released the documentary, “Naomi Osaka,” which is a powerful, poignant and painful look at the triumphs and travails of the multicultural tennis star. Before that, Osaka released her own Barbie doll, which sold out within hours of its unveiling on Monday, July 12, 2021.