Naomi Osaka has been dealing with the blow of her injury withdrawal from the French Open by indulging in a spot of sunbathing, sharing a sun-kissed shot with fans while tagging rapper boyfriend Cordae in the revealing photo.
The 22-year-old dropped a bombshell last week when she announced that a troublesome left hamstring would prevent her from gunning for a second Grand Slam title in a row at the tournament, which is scheduled to start in Paris on Sunday.
She admitted that she had felt “lonely” and been “really grinding it out” during her performance in New York, where players had been forced to remain in a bubble and play without crowds as a result of the pandemic.
Her win in the final against Belarusian rival Victoria Azarenka, who won the first set 6-1, featured visible strapping to her hamstring, although the news that she would not be heading to Roland Garros surprised many fans and commentators.
While many players are now getting ready to take part in the tournament under strict conditions, Osaka looked over her shoulder in yellow swimwear as she posed by the pool in Haiti.
Her boyfriend, Grammy-nominated rapper Cordae, was tagged into the scantily-clad shot, causing fans to joke about his luck and her fellow 22-year-old to reply with grinning emojis.
Cordae was one of the few fans allowed to watch Osaka’s comeback at Flushing Meadows as she won her third Grand Slam title.
He wore a t-shirt bearing the slogan “defund the police” in a reference to the protests and debates that have taken place in the aftermath of a series of US police killings.
The pair posed together on exercise bikes earlier this month in a photo that drew replies from stars including pop star Diddy and NFL player Colin Kaepernick.
— espnW (@espnW) September 12, 2020
Cordae had included Kaepernick, who was the originator of the kneeling protest that has become widespread at NFL games, into the post, which he captioned: “To be young, gifted and black.”
Since her latest on-court triumph, Osaka has also revealed her cover shot for the Japanese edition of fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar and advertized her own range of masks, produced in aid of UNICEF with her sister, Mari.
“All the people who were telling me to ‘keep politics out of sports’ [when] it wasn’t political at all really inspired me to win,” she announced on Twitter earlier this month.
“You better believe I’m gonna try to be on your TV for as long as possible.”
Her high profile is guaranteed for some time judging by her appearance on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world earlier this week.
Had to team up with my sis on another mask and all proceeds are going to @UNICEF COVID-19 relief efforts. So if anyone needs a new mask right now this is a vibe. Not that I’m biased or anything like that 👉🏾😖👈🏾 https://t.co/XKb4fl0MTDpic.twitter.com/RCFUIQoSZ2
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) September 21, 2020
All the people that were telling me to “keep politics out of sports”, (which it wasn’t political at all), really inspired me to win. You better believe I’m gonna try to be on your tv for as long as possible.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) September 15, 2020
The magazine praised Osaka for wearing seven masks before matches on her way to the title, each carrying the names of African American victims of police violence.
Judges praised Osaka’s “incredible focus, courage and intentionality to carry herself the way she did”, adding that she had used her “gifts and talents, her voice and her platform” to “honor the preciousness of black and brown lives.”
“She reminded us that we can all resist the excuses that guard us from giving love,” they concluded.
“Whatever power we have, the most lasting and life-giving way we can steward that power is by using it to lift others up.” (RT)
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