Naomi Osaka: production still

Naomi Osaka documentary: tennis star talks pressure and sacrifices in first teaser for new Netflix series

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“I feel like I’m struggling,” admits Naomi Osaka in the first trailer for Netflix’s new documentary.

Naomi Osaka is set to become the subject of a new documentary series on Netflix, aptly named Naomi Osaka, and the first trailer has made it very clear that the three-parter is an absolute must-watch for any and all fans of the tennis pro.

What’s Naomi Osaka about?

The documentary series promises to offer an intimate look inside the life of one of the most gifted and complex athletes of her generation, as well as some insight into the tough decisions and ecstatic triumphs that shape Osaka as both an elite global superstar and a young woman navigating a pressure-filled world.

Naomi Osaka at the French Open on 30 May 2021.
Naomi Osaka at the French Open on 30 May 2021.

Is there a trailer for Naomi Osaka?

The first trailer for the empathetic docuseries makes it all too clear that, with unprecedented access, we will be offered the chance to follow Osaka during a historic two years in which she works not just on her game, but also on finding her voice.

“I always had this pressure to maintain the squeaky image, but now I don’t care what anyone has to say,” she says in the clip.

“No one really knows all the sacrifices that you make just to be good… before I won the US Open, so many people told my dad I would never be anything.”

Those people, of course, were wrong; to date, Osaka has become the first Asian player to be ranked number one in singles, with four Grand Slam titles to her name. She also has a loyal fanbase, with an eye watering 2.5 million followers on Instagram – and will be representing her country at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Her success, though, has come at a price; earlier this year, the talented tennis player pulled out of the French Open, citing depression and social anxiety. Her announcement prompted a wider discussion about the pressures put on young sportswomen and the unique mental health issues that women of colour face in such industries.

As Osaka says in the trailer: “I think the amount of attention I get is kind of ridiculous.

“No one prepares you for that. I don’t know, I feel like I’m struggling.”

Watch the trailer for Netflix’s Naomi Osaka for yourself below:

It’s all too clear from the above that this won’t be like any other sports documentary we’ve seen, blending Osaka’s personal challenges – such as the unexpected loss of mentor Kobe Bryant, her unwavering support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and her desire to further explore her Haitian roots – with her on-court wins and losses, as well as her hectic training and travel schedule.

“Viewers will witness Naomi’s unapologetic honesty and vulnerability as she navigates her multifaceted identity as a young athlete and leader on the rise,” promises Netflix.

What are people saying about Naomi Osaka?

Speaking about the documentary, director Garrett Bradley says: “The series is about Naomi’s journey, within a snapshot of her life, but it’s also about life’s purpose, about personal worth, about the courage that it takes to allow one’s personal values to inform their work and vice versa.

“More than anything, I’d hope people can feel the power of empathy and to feel encouraged to take chances in life, perhaps especially in moments where the stakes can feel impossibly high.”

Osaka, meanwhile, says: “To be able to tell my story and let people in during this big year, working with a team that really understands me, has been a rewarding experience.

“It won’t look like a traditional sports documentary, and I’m so excited to share it with everyone.”

When can we watch Naomi Osaka?

Naomi Osaka will begin streaming on Netflix on 16 July, so add it to your calendar now; we have a feeling a lot of people will be talking about this one.

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Images: Netflix/Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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