The summer of Naomi Osaka

July 22, 2021

Barbie doll sells out, is on cover of “Sports Illustrated” magazine and a new Netflix documentary debuts

Pictured (above) the Naomi Osaka Barbie doll is a best seller

A new Barbie doll modeled on tennis star Naomi Osaka has sold out just hours after it was released on Monday July 12, 2021.

The new doll is part of the Barbie Role Model series and holds a Yonex tennis racket, according to a press release from toy company Mattel.

It sports a Nike tennis dress and a white visor, and Osaka tweeted that she wore the outfit at the 2020 Australian Open.

“I hope every child is reminded that they can be and do anything,” Osaka added in her tweet.

The 23-year-old won her first grand slam title in 2018. The four-time grand slam winner is an outspoken figure on the professional tennis circuit and regularly addresses human rights, racial injustice and mental health during interviews.

Barbie commissioned designer Carlyle Nuera to make the doll, and he spoke of his admiration for Osaka.

“Obviously Naomi’s athletic skill is unmatched, that’s a fact,” said Nuera in the press release.

“But what I personally admire the most about Naomi Osaka is how she uses her platform, the spotlight on her and her voice, to raise awareness about social justice.”

This is the second time Osaka has collaborated with Barbie, following her 2019 appearance as one of the brand’s Shero dolls.

Earlier this month, video streaming service Netflix released a trailer for its “Naomi Osaka” documentary series, which focuses on her life and her struggles with being catapulted into the public eye. Naomi Osaka will miss Wimbledon but plans on a Tokyo Olympics return, her says agent.

Naomi Osaka,” personally narrated by the tennis player, looks back at her upbringing and how her 2018 US Open win turned her into an “overnight superstar.”

The Japanese world No. 2 revealed she had “suffered long bouts of depression” since winning her first grand slam title in 2018. The Netflix series was released on July 16.

Osaka will make her return to competitive tennis at the Olympic Games in Tokyo after withdrawing from the French Open, citing mental health reasons. She later announced she had also withdrawn from this year’s Wimbledon tournament.

The cover of the 2021 Swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated.

Sports Illustrated Swim cover

The tennis champ can add another major win to her record after landing the SI Swim cover —one of three that also includes Megan Thee Stallion and Leyna Bloom.

The four-time Grand Slam singles champion, 23, landed on the coveted cover, modeling a sporty-meets-sexy black asymmetrical one-piece with sheer panels, accessorized with statement seashell hoop earrings.

Photographed by Yu Tsai, Osaka joins two other stars (rapper Megan Thee Stallion and actress Leyna Bloom) to front the 2021 issue with their own individual covers.

“If there’s one thing that our cover models have in common, it’s that they don’t have one thing in common,” says MJ Day, Editor in Chief of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit in a press release. “They look different, have different upbringings, have different passions and inspirations. But each is a reminder that beauty comes in many forms.”

She is the first Black female athlete to be on the cover of the issue.