Naomi Osaka honored with her own line of Barbie dolls for inspiring the next generation of girls

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka
Rudra Biswas

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka now has her own line of Barbie dolls, which was recently unveiled as part of Mattel Inc's "Barbie Role Model" series.

The series will honor people from diverse backgrounds who have paved the way for the next generation of girls, just like Osaka has.

Osaka, who recently won the Best Female Athlete award at the ESPYs, was elated at having a personalized doll, taking to Twitter to inform her fans about the collaboration with the American company.

The Japanese disclosed on social media that she first teamed up with Barbie two years ago. She also expressed hope that her latest venture will further inspire young girls around the world.

"I first teamed up with Barbie in 2019 and today we’re introducing the Barbie Role Model Naomi Osaka doll. I hope every child is reminded that they can be and do anything," Osaka wrote on Twitter.
"This is really seeing a dream of mine come to life, having your own Barbie and potentially seeing little kids playing with it."

Osaka said the doll will be donning her Nike attire from the Australian Open in 2020, when the Japanese suffered a surprise third-round exit to teen sensation Coco Gauff.

"Fun fact: the doll is wearing my outfit from the 2020 Australian Open," Osaka wrote.
Naomi Osaka Barbie Roll Model doll
Naomi Osaka Barbie Roll Model doll

Osaka pulled out of the French Open due to mental health issues and then withdrew from Wimbledon as well. The Japanese will, however, make her return at the Tokyo Olympics later this month, which will mark her debut at the Games.

Naomi Osaka is not the first female tennis player to be honored with a figurine

Naomi Osaka (L) and Serena Williams
Naomi Osaka (L) and Serena Williams

Naomi Osaka has had an impactful few months on and off the court. In addition to triumphing at the 2020 US Open and the 2021 Australian Open, the Japanese used her platform to shine a light on police brutality and social injustice in the U.S. last year.

Lisa McKnight, SVP and global head of Barbie & Dolls hailed Osaka for "breaking boundaries on and off the court."

"She has paved the way for future generations of girls to dream bigger, and through her unwavering courage and honesty, shown the world the importance of being your own biggest champion," McKnight was quoted as saying by ABC.

Osaka is not the first female tennis player to be honored with her own line of dolls. The Williams Sisters were also honored in their heyday with personalized figurines by Play Along Toys.

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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