The limited documentary series on Netflix brings an intimate look inside the life of the tennis superstar, following the emotional journey of Osaka’s past two years.
The take on Naomi Osaka’s life comes in a three-part series, by Academy Award-nominee director of ‘Time’, Garret Bradley, and produced by LeBron James. It follows the four-time Grand Slam singles champ in her rise and struggles for the past two years.
In the director’s words “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.”
Beyond her athleticism and unquestionable talent Osaka’s willingness to take on frank discussions and speaking out on the issues that affect her are a big part of her notable personality. Her activism within the Black Lives Matter movement gave her a place on Time’s “100 most influential people” in 2019 and 2020, and she was named one of Sports Illustrated’s “Sportspersons of the Year” in 2020.
“I feel like the platform that I have right now is something that I used to take for granted, and for me I feel like I should be using it for something. I believe, instead of following, you have to make your own path,” she shared in a statement.
Osaka has also become increasingly open about her mental health struggles, and the anxiety she often feels in the public eye. She recently talked about these issues through a letter titled “It’s ok to not be ok” published on Time, where she explains her feelings about the commotion generated after her withdrawal at Roland Garros and the refusal to talk on press conferences. She speaks about her relationship with the media, the pressure of being in the spotlight and her thoughts on athletes and mental health.
The official synopsis for the documentary reads:
“Empathetic in its approach, the series chronicles Osaka’s hectic training and travel schedule, explores the layers of pressure she is under and reveals how she spends her time off the court hanging with her closest family and friends. The episodes also travel the globe with Osaka to further explore her Haitian roots as well as examine her deep connection to Japan, the country she represents. Viewers will witness Naomi’s unapologetic honesty and vulnerability as she navigates her multifaceted identity as a young athlete and leader on the rise.”
The trailer promises a view of Osaka’s world with “unprecedented access” combining footage of her matches with home videos, interviews, and news clips. It premieres on Netflix on July 16, that will be one week before the 2021 Tokyo Olympics begin, where Osaka will be taking part representing Japan.
“I always had this pressure to maintain this squeaky image,” Naomi explains in the trailer. “But now, I don’t care what anyone has to say.”
You can watch it here: