naomi osaka trailer

Naomi Osaka is only 23 years old and has already been ranked No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association. Oh, and she is also the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles as well as a four-time Grand Slam singles champion and is currently the reigning champion at the U.S. Open and the Australian Open. To chronicle her personal and professional journey, Netflix announced a new documentary series, aptly titled Naomi Osaka, in Osaka’s honor and recently revealed its inspiring trailer.

Naomi Osaka Trailer

Netflix has revealed a new trailer for its latest documentary series simply titled Naomi Osaka that will spotlight the renowned Japanese tennis player. Director Garret Bradley describes the intimate three-part documentary series in a statement 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. 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 stated in the press release, “I feel like the platform that I have right now is something that I used to take for granted, and for me I feel like I should be using it for something. I believe, instead of following, you have to make your own path.” What stands out in the trailer is that Osaka is deviating from the notion of perfection and embracing all of the issues in the world that she may be able to influence in a positive way. I love how she is embracing using her platform for good and, in the process, finds out more about herself along the way.

A Perfect Serve and A Perfect Storm

“Before winning the U.S. Open, so many people told my dad that I would never be anything.” Damn. That sentence alone gave me goosebumps. The aspiration to be perfect and successful in professional sports beyond just the normal societal standards women have to already deal with on a day-to-day basis. Osaka stated that she started playing tennis because she wanted to afford enough money so that her mother wouldn’t have to struggle anymore. Her dedication to her family and utilizing her family lineage as a driving force in her play seems to be at the core of the series.

I also love how Osaka embraces the Black Lives Matter movement and decides to toss aside her squeaky clean image in order to stand up for what she believes in. While another recent female-centric sports documentary, Athlete A, disclosed the corrupt and secretive abuse within the athletic world, it is great to see another series that spotlights women standing up for themselves and what they believe is right or just, especially one with a focus on cultural identity. When Osaka states in the trailer that she “tied winning to her worth as a person” it’s just as important to remember a similar notion about the brave gymnasts in Athlete A. They are not their trophy, their title, or their trauma. They are themselves in true authentic form. Humans. Simple, sweet, and yet profoundly interesting to explore on a deeper level that can serve as an inspiration for us all both in sports and society at large.

Naomi Osaka premieres on Netflix on July 14, 2021. 

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