Naomi Osaka shares new Japan Vogue cover shoot after withdrawing from media for her mental health


Naomi Osaka has broken her social media silence to publicise a glossy new photo shoot in Vogue Japan amid her press blackout.

The tennis star, 23, shared the cover of the fashion magazine and a number of the glamorous snaps which are featured in its August issue in an Instagram post on Monday.

The four-time Grand Slam champion told her millions of fans: ‘Hi guys. Popping out to post this Vogue Japan cover, hope you’re all doing well and staying safe.’ 

Naomi Osaka has broken her social media silence to publicise a glossy new photo shoot in Vogue Japan amid her press blackout

The tennis star, 23, shared the cover of the fashion magazine and a number of the glamorous snaps

The tennis star, 23, shared the cover of the fashion magazine and a number of the glamorous snaps

Her post was praised by many of her famous friends including Venus Williams, Nicki Minaj and Saweetie. 

But others questioned if the cover shoot suggested she is still carrying out some of her media responsibilities despite the apparent blackout.

In the high-end shoot, the former world number one is seen decked out in luxury Louis Vuitton clothes and Nike sportswear, one of her sponsors.

It is the first time Osaka has spoken publicly since she caused an uproar with her decision to not carry out her press duties at the French Open.

The backlash prompted the highest paid female athlete in the world to pull out of the tournament and head home as she revealed her struggles with mental health.

It is the first time Osaka has spoken publicly since she caused an uproar with her decision to not carry out her press duties at the French Open (pictured)

It is the first time Osaka has spoken publicly since she caused an uproar with her decision to not carry out her press duties at the French Open (pictured)

In her last social media message on May 31, she wrote: ‘I’m gonna take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans.’

At the start of this month, Osaka returned to her $7million Los Angeles mansion after flying back from Paris after just one match at Roland Garros. 

Osaka was fined $15,000 by officials for refusing to appear in front of the media after the first-round match against 63rd seed Romanian Patricia Maria Tig, and a joint statement from the four Grand Slam organisers said she would face ‘more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions’ if she continues her boycott. 

Five days after her tweet, she announced she was withdrawing, to protect her mental health. 

Her post on Instagram was praised by many of her famous friends including Venus Williams, Nicki Minaj and Saweetie

Her post on Instagram was praised by many of her famous friends including Venus Williams, Nicki Minaj and Saweetie

Revealing her struggles with depression and anxiety, she said: ‘I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.’  

Her decision proved divisive with many legends of the game criticising her for neglecting her duties while others commended her decision.

Men’s world number three Rafael Nadal said that although he sympathised with Osaka, the media was an essential part of the job.

But former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker was more critical, saying stars can’t have ‘half the cake’ and said that Osaka’s career might be in jeopardy. 

He said: ‘If she can’t cope with the media in Paris, she can’t cope with the media at Wimbledon, she can’t cope with the media at the US Open.’

Osaka was fined $15,000 by officials for refusing to appear in front of the media after the first-round match against 63rd seed Romanian Patricia Maria Tig

Osaka was fined $15,000 by officials for refusing to appear in front of the media after the first-round match against 63rd seed Romanian Patricia Maria Tig

Ashleigh Barty, the women’s world number one, agreed that press conferences were essential.

‘We know what we sign up for as professional tennis players,’ the Australian said on Friday.

‘I can’t really comment on what Naomi is feeling or her decisions she makes.

‘At times press conferences are hard, of course, but it’s also not something that bothers me. I’ve never had problems answering questions or being completely honest with you guys. It’s not something that’s ever fazed me too much.’ 

Osaka’s sister Mari had suggested on Reddit that the star didn’t want to be reminded of her record playing on clay, which isn’t as strong as her performances on grass. She deleted that post afterwards. 

The star’s sponsors, including Nike and Mastercard, have backed her decision.

Such deals have helped make Osaka one of sport’s highest earners. Her multiple sponsors have helping her to rake in $55.2 million in the past 12 months. 

Only $5.2 million came from tennis winnings, while the rest came from endorsement deals with the likes of Nike, Beats by Dre, Mastercard and Nissin.

NAOMI OSAKA’S POSTS ABOUT FRENCH OPEN AND MENTAL HEALTH 

MAY 26

 

MAY 30 

MAY 31 



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