Naomi Osaka brings African vibes to US Open trophy photoshoot

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Naomi Osaka chose an African look for her US Open trophy shoot at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, continuing to make a powerful statement about Black Lives Matter.

The 22-year-old wore a different facemask to honor victims of police brutality and racial injustice against Black people in each of her seven US Open matches and after winning the tournament opted for African style to pose for photographers with her new trophy — a shoulderless orange print dress and a headwrap.

Osaka plays for Japan, but she has mixed origin, as her mother is Japanese and her father is Haitian. After becoming the fifth active player who has won at least three Grand Slam titles (joining the Williams sisters, Kim Clijsters and Angelique Kerber, who are all at least a decade older than her), the former world No.1 paid tribute to her roots:

I would like to thank my ancestors because every time I remember their blood runs through my veins I am reminded that I cannot lose.

Osaka could have easily faded away in the final against Victoria Azarenka, as she faced a 6-1 2-0 deficit, but instead became the first woman since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1994 to win the US Open after dropping the first set.

Osaka partially attributes her resilience and power to her friendship with late Kobe Bryant, whose No.8 Los Angeles Lakers jersey she wore after each of her matches:

I wore this jersey every day after my matches. I truly think it gave me strength. Always.

Here you can see photos from Osaka’s previous two Grand Slam trophy shoots: the 2018 US Open when she wore an elegant white knee-length dress and the 2019 Australian Open when she took her Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup to Brighton Beach wearing a colorful Cushnie dress accessorized with chunky gold earrings.


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