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Naomi Osaka wears shoes inspired by last year's butterfly run-in at 2022 Australian Open

Naomi Osaka wore shoes inspired by the butterfly incident from the 2021 Australian Open
Naomi Osaka wore shoes inspired by the butterfly incident from the 2021 Australian Open

Naomi Osaka's defense of her Australian Open title has gone according to plan so far. The World No. 14 has won both her matches in straight-sets, even serving up a bagel to Madison Brengle in her second-round encounter.

But what was unusual about Osaka this week was the shoes she wore in her matches. The Japanese wore two different Nike shoes during her time on the court, which were unlike any other she, or any other Nike-sponsored athlete, has worn before.

The Nike Air Zoom GP Turbos have apparently been custom-made for the four-time Grand Slam champion. Better yet, they were inspired by Osaka's run-in with a butterfly at last year's Australian Open.

Last year during her Australian Open title run, Naomi Osaka had a run-in with a butterfly which led to one of the best sports photos of 2021.At this year's #AusOpen, Osaka has worn custom Nike butterfly shoes in both of her matches 🦋 https://t.co/CcsXuBC8zR

According to Business Insider's sports reporter Meredith Cash, the shoes will be officially released to the public next month. The expected price of the sneakers is $150.

"Nike tells Insider that Naomi Osaka's Air Zoom GP Turbo butterfly kicks (which the reigning #AusOpen champ has worn for each of her matches thus far) are scheduled to release this month for $150 USD," Meredith tweeted.
Update: Nike tells Insider that Naomi Osaka's Air Zoom GP Turbo butterfly kicks (which the reigning #AusOpen champ has worn for each of her matches thus far) are scheduled to release this month for $150 USD.Check 'em out: twitter.com/mercash22/stat…

Osaka was accosted by a butterfly during her third-round match against Ons Jabeur last year. The Japanese initially carried it to the side of the court after it had landed on her leg. But it refused to leave her alone and landed on her face shortly afterwards. Osaka waited patiently until the insect flew away before resuming play.

The full video of the incident was shared by the official Twitter handle of the Australian Open, noting how Osaka was loved by even butterflies in Australia.

"Even the butterflies in Australia love @naomiosaka," the video was captioned.
Even the butterflies in Australia love @naomiosaka 🦋😂#AusOpen | #AO2021 https://t.co/DyJ7jLYYgh

Osaka has not lost a match in Melbourne since then. Seeded 13 this year, the Japanese will take on Amanda Anisimova in the third round on Friday. The American has not lost a match this year.

Naomi Osaka has a butterfly-inspired character based on her in a Manga

Naomi Osaka's new Manga collection features a character inspired by the same butterfly
Naomi Osaka's new Manga collection features a character inspired by the same butterfly

Naomi Osaka's sister, Mari Osaka, is a former WTA player who has reinvented herself as a digital artist. Her first Manga collection, which comes out on January 20, has the former World No. 1 as the protagonist and features a character inspired by the butterfly that visited Naomi.

Osaka revealed on Instagram that in Japanese culture, monarch butterflies are believed to contain the souls of one's ancestors. Stemming from that belief, her mother considered the butterfly that paid her a visit to be "her guardian angel". Mari took that as inspiration to create the character of "Yōsei", a fairy who watches over the heroine.

"This is Yōsei, the fairy. My sister calls her my guide, almost like my angel. Those were the words that came out of my mother's mouth when the butterfly landed on me at my match in the 2021 Australian open. Her family believed butterflies to carry the souls of our ancestors, and for sure it was one of them as that monarch butterfly that day."

Rafael Nadal and wife Maria Francisca Perello spotted with infant son. click here for pictures.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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