Naomi Osaka drops Netflix trailer a month after withdrawing from media

‘I don’t care what anyone says’: Defiant Naomi Osaka says ‘no-one knows the sacrifices I make’ in Netflix documentary trailer a month after withdrawing from media ‘for her mental health’

  • The tennis star, 23, withdrew from the French Open in May and hasn’t played since
  • She announced her withdrawal from tournaments and media obligations to protect her mental health
  • The Netflix trailer comes just weeks after she returned from the blackout to share snaps of a glossy shoot with Vogue Japan 
  • Osaka’s agent confirmed the star will play at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan later this month 

Naomi Osaka has dropped the trailer of a Netflix documentary about her life amid a press blackout lasting several months in which she has refused to speak with the media.

The Japanese tennis star, 23, withdrew from the French Open in May after refusing to take part in her press obligations and has not played in a tournament or spoken to the media since, citing her struggles with depression and anxiety.

Despite continuing her press blackout, the four-time Grand Slam champion’s agent has confirmed that she will be competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games later this month and will take part in press conferences.  

The Netflix documentary is billed as an ‘intimate look inside the life of one of the most gifted and complex athletes of her generation.’

Netflix said the documentary will give viewers a taste of what shapes Osaka as ‘both an elite global superstar and a young woman navigating a pressure-filled world.’

Osaka has refused to speak with the media since pulling out of the French Open in May. She declared she needed to take time away from the court and cited mental health reasons including struggles with anxiety and depression

The Netflix documentary is billed as an ‘intimate look inside the life of one of the most gifted and complex athletes of her generation’ and will give viewers a taste of what shapes Osaka as ‘both an elite global superstar and a young woman navigating a pressure-filled world.’

Osaka pulled out of the French Open in May after only one match and declared she was stepping away from the court amid the furore around her refusal to attend the press conference. 

She was fined $15,000 by officials for refusing to appear in front of the media after the first-round match 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. 

Osaka was born to a Japanese mother and Haitian father and competes under the Japanese flag

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.’ 

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.’ 

She then returned to social media on June 21 to share the snaps from her photo shoot with Vogue Japan, in which she appeared decked out in several designer labels.

Naomi Osaka broke 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

 

Her decision to withdraw from media duties proved divisive with many legends of the game criticising her for neglecting her duties while others commended her stand in support of mental health.

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.’

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

Osaka was fined $15,000 by officials for refusing to appear in front of the media after the first-round match, but has stood by her press blackout for several months

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

‘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.’  

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.

Osaka was born to a Japanese mother and Haitian father and competes under the Japanese flag 

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