Even though Naomi Osaka‘s 2021 season was crowned with her fourth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, the year will mostly be remembered in the negative context — her battles with anxiety and tennis authorities who insisted she should be punished for skipping mandatory press conferences. In the latest edition of my annual Fashion Retrospections, you’ll see that in terms of style this was another good period for the former world No.1 and her clothing sponsor Nike.
Ace 💥@naomiosaka locks in a quarterfinal spot after defeating Boulter, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.#GippslandWTA pic.twitter.com/L6j0QcR43t
— wta (@WTA) February 3, 2021
Naomi Osaka kicked off the season at the Giippsland Trophy in Melbourne, but pulled out of the WTA 500 tournament ahead of her semifinal against Elise Mertens, citing an unspecified injury.
At her first tournament in 2021, Osaka wore a white engineered short-sleeved Nike dress with a cutout on center back.
When it comes to footwear, she debuted personalized NikeCourt Air Zoom GP Turbos. Their abstract print on the insole features the silhouettes of Haiti, Japan and the United States in the colorway that matches the orange Swoosh. Naomi’s name is written in Japanese on the heal, while her last name is featured on the medial side. The most eye-catching detail is a stylized version of Maneki-neko (a famous Japanese cat figurine) holding a tennis racquet.
At the Australian Open, Osaka rocked a custom camo-printed catsuit layered with a vibrant asymmetrical pleated orange skirt.
The WTA star’s 23-match winning streak ended in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open, where she wore a simple black Nike sleeveless top and a black/white/beige colorblocked Nike Summer Advantage Hybrid Skirt with box pleats.
Competing on clay for the first time in two years, Osaka played the Mutua Madrid Open in the grey version of the Nike Summer Advantage Dress. The design was also available in black, elemental pink, dark beetroot and white.
During warm-up, Osaka debuted the cropped Nike Naomi NJC Fleece Top from her second Nike capsule collection.
The same Nike outfit was Osaka’s choice in Rome.
During her brief yet somewhat historic appearance at Roland Garros, Osaka wore a custom textured black-and-white dress and Swarovski-studded tie-dye Air Zoom GP Turbo tennis shoes.
At the Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese was by far the most famous athlete, having been chosen to light the Olympic cauldron. During her three matches played there, the tennis ace rocked the red Nike Fall Tokyo Dress and accessorized it with long red braided hairstyle.
The dress features plenty of mesh sections and an interesting asymmetrical racerback.
At the Western & Southern Open, Osaka wore the Nike Fall Victory Sleeveless Polo and a tiered pleated skirt.
At the US Open, where she lost in the third round to eventual runner-up Leylah Fernandez, Osaka sported a vibrant yellow dress made just for her. Besides the eye-catching color, characteristics of this dress are contrast black trims and deep V-back secured with a horizontal band on the widest section. Geometrically printed biker shorts completed the look.
Always a fight from, @naomiosaka.
See you next year, champ. pic.twitter.com/P3KQzB7M4V
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 4, 2021
When it comes to Osaka’s New York gear, the real star was the customized Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo tennis shoe that celebrated the four-time Grand Slam champion’s multicultural heritage with the flags of Haiti and Japan.
Which Naomi Osaka’s 2021 Nike outfit was your favorite? I’m voting for her Australian Open bodysuit and street-style US Open sneakers.
NAOMI OSAKA’S TENNIS FASHION THROUGH THE YEARS:
- 2020: Naomi Osaka’s Nike tennis apparel throughout the pandemic season
- 2019: Transition from Adidas to Nike and Sacai looks
- 2018: Energetic curls accessorize Adidas’ fine fashion
MORE 2021 WTA FASHION RETROSPECTIONS:
- Tennis classics: Karolina Pliskova’s Fila tanks and skirts
- Serena Williams breaks new ground with Nike tennis outfits
- Garbine Muguruza’s Adidas tennis apparel
- Overview of Iga Swiatek’s Asics tennis shoes and dresses
- World number one Ashleigh Barty’s Fila tennis shoes and apparel
- Aryna Sabalenka in Nike tennis apparel
- Anett Kontaveit‘s Lacoste style: White pleated skirts, colorblocks and stripes
- Venus Williams’ versatile EleVen dresses
Her US Open electric volt neon color dress was my favorite, so bright, yet timeless tennis dress that can be worn in the past present and future.
But there was this sleeveess polo crop top she wore at the beginning of her match vs Fernandez, was that supposed to be her USO night outfit?
Ian, I am not sure about that crop top. The only outfit Nike mentioned was the dress. I’ve seen the crop top, but I don’t know why she wore it for just a fraction of the match.