- Title: Tennis star Naomi Osaka joins Barbie's Role Model series
- Date: 12th July 2021
- Summary: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (FILE - JANUARY 27, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF 2019 AUSTRALIAN OPEN WOMEN'S TENNIS FINAL WINNER, NAOMI OSAKA WALKING ON BEACH WITH TROPHY OSAKA OPENING CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FILE - SEPTEMBER 9, 2018) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF OSAKA POSING WITH THE 2018 U.S. OPEN TROPHY AFTER WINNING HER MAIDEN GRAND SLAM TITLE SINGAPORE (FILE - OCTOBER 20, 2018) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF OSAKA PRACTICING AHEAD OF THE WTA FINALS
- Embargoed: 26th July 2021 16:48
- Keywords: barbie mattel mental health naomi osaka role model sports tennis toy women
- Location: SINGAPORE + NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES + MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA / UNKNOWN LOCATIONS
- City: SINGAPORE + NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES + MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA / UNKNOWN LOCATIONS
- Country: USA
- Topics: Celebrities,Arts/Culture/Entertainment,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA003ELJDGM1
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Toy company Barbie has added tennis star Naomi Osaka to its Role Model series.
In a press release, the grand slam champion said: "It's such an honor to be a part of the Barbie Role Model series, and to remind young girls that they can make a difference in the world. I want young girls everywhere to feel empowered to dream big and to know that if they believe in themselves that anything is possible!"
The doll is outfitted in a Nike tennis dress with brushstroke print, a white visor and light blue tennis shoes, which is similar to an outfit she wore during the 2020 Australian Open.
The toy company started working with Osaka in 2020 to develop a doll for fans and collectors.
In June, Osaka withdrew from the Wimbledon championships for personal reasons but her agent said that the world number two will be ready for the Tokyo Olympics.
Earlier in the month, Japan's Osaka quit the French Open following her first-round victory after organizers fined her $15,000 (USD) and threatened her with expulsion from the tournament when she refused to attend mandatory post-match press conferences.
The 23-year-old, who said she has "social anxiety", explained that the media's line of questioning after matches impacted her mental well-being.
Born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, Osaka grew up idolizing 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and turned professional in 2013 aged 15.
(Production: Alicia Powell)
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