By Naomi Osaka
This issue isn’t all about me, it’s about my world. I feel like this is a different lens to see my orbit from—a more interesting one for the reader. Everyone knows most of my answers to the standard questions by now, so there’s not much more I can add to my biography or tennis results. So asking Racquet to write about and illustrate my world, I hope, will allow people to see me from a different perspective. I felt it was time to offer a commentary on the culture around the periphery of tennis, rather than forehands and backhands. The edition touches on things I’m interested in like fashion, travel, art, and photography, so there was so much potential to broaden the context in which I’m seen.
Racquet published one of the first profiles of me, in the fall of 2016, before I’d made a mark in professional tennis. I think it was interesting back then because most people didn’t know me or my story, but now it’s been told so many times it’s starting to lose its relevance, so I’m excited to do something different and fresh. There have been a lot of newspaper columns devoted to my personal story, so for me it’s time to turn the page and talk about cool stuff that we can all relate to together.
For the cover, I chose the Nigerian visual artist Dennis Osadebe. I have a few pieces of his in my house and I think he’s awesome. As for the rest of the magazine in your hands, the interpretation is in the eye of the beholder, so I have no preconceived ideas about what anyone will take away from this project. I hope there’s a broad enough spectrum here that there’s something that everyone can relate to, or enjoy consuming.
Above: Johanna Goodman (Getty/Robert Wilson)