Netflix has released the trailer for its upcoming docuseries, Naomi Osaka. The limited series takes an intimate look inside the life of the tennis superstar, chronicling her struggles and triumphs on and off the court.
Directed by Acadamy Award-nominated documentarian, Garrett Bradley, the series offers insight into the pressures and tough decisions that have shaped Osaka’s life. Born to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, the series also follows Osaka as she explores her cultural roots and navigates her multifaceted identity through the expectations of elite tennis. “I always had this pressure to maintain this squeaky image,” Osaka explains in the trailer. “But now, I don’t care what anyone has to say.”
Her activism within the Black Lives Matter movement made her one of Time’s 100 most influential people in 2019 and 2020, and one of Sports Illustrated‘s Sportspersons of the Year in 2020. Her decision at the 2020 US Open to wear masks bearing the names of Black victims of police or racist violence proved particularly notable. “None of these deaths had to happen,” Osaka remarks. “I just want everyone to know the names.”
A four-time Grand Slam singles champion, Osaka has distinguished herself as a formidable player, famously defeating Serena Williams at the US Open in 2018. But Osaka’s activism and frank discussions of her mental health issues have made her notable beyond her athleticism. Earlier this year, she shocked the tennis world by withdrawing from the French Open after declining to appear at press conferences. The series arrives as Osaka has become increasingly open about her mental health struggles, recently penning an op-ed for Time detailing her French Open decision, and the anxiety she often feels in the public eye.
The trailer promises a daringly unflinching view of Osaka’s world, combing footage of her matches with home videos, interviews, and news clips. It’s a bold choice for a figure notable for shrinking from the limelight, offering deep insight into what has motivated her over the years. Even non-tennis fans should find a lot to be intrigued about in her story.
Naomi Osaka premieres on Netflix on July 16. Check out the trailer below.