After establishing her mark as one of the premier tennis players over the past five years, Naomi Osaka has achieved another accolade as she was asked to pose in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated.
The Japanese superstar is one of the most widely-recognized names in the world of sports, not only for her play on the court but also her numerous ventures off it. Therefore, it came as no surprise that she was recently invited to shoot her first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover.
The four-time Grand Slam champion shared her experience, expressing her amazement at being able to participate in such a prestigious event.
“I’m Naomi Osaka and we are currently in Malibu, California,” said the former World No.1. “We are shooting the cover, well yeah, my first cover of the SI Swimsuit. It feels really amazing just growing up and watching so many incredible women grace discover. For me, feels like a dream. I remember Tyra Banks’ issue, I remember Beyoncé’s.”
Being asked to bare yourself in swimsuits for the world to see could be intimidating, and Osaka spoke on her confidence level during this new experience.
“I do have a bit of nerves being photographed in a bikini just because I feel like it’s something that I’ve never done before so it’s a tiny bit out of my element,” admitted the 24-year old. “Shooting with your style is really fun. It’s really incredible to just work with him because I growing up, I used to watch America’s Next Top Model. So of course, I was really nervous walking into it but I don’t know, he’s just really fun.
“You could see someone and think they’re the most confident person but deep down, I think that everyone’s a bit insecure of something. I know a lot of people say fake it until you make it and I think there’s a lot of people that are really good at that so yeah, just being confident and I feel like if you’re confident in something then eventually it’ll sort of catch on and you’ll just become a confident person.
“If I could give a piece of advice to my younger self, I would just tell myself to trust the process and not compare yourself to other people so that’s sort of what I try to do on the tennis court.”
Osaka received a wildcard entry to the Madrid Open, and will be competing at the event which kicks off on April 28th.