Shy, timid, and mild-mannered. These were just some of the descriptions that were hurled at tennis player Naomi Osaka, who drew worldwide attention when her victory over veteran Serena Williams at the 2018 US Open was overshadowed by a stream of boos from the crowd.
But anyone who has seen the Japan-born player on the court would never label her reticent. For those who have watched her grown, from a precocious talent to a Grand Slam winner, the 23-year-old displays a burning passion that's as compelling as her fiery gameplay.
Osaka has always been told to only make statements with her tennis racket but she wasn’t about to be shoehorned into the obedient athlete narrative. Using her far-reaching influence as a sportswoman, Osaka is igniting conversation on a global stage such as her recent participation in a video by Frances Tiafoe called Racquets Down, Hands Up in response to George Flyod’s killing.
Such tenacity and fearlessness are precisely the reasons that attracted Tag Heuer to invite her to the Swiss family. Known for developing innovations that enhance measurement of sports performance and its involvement in tennis, Tag Heuer seems like a natural fit for the tennis player who never cracks under pressure.
“I’m excited and honoured to join Tag Heuer as brand ambassador. It’s a partnership and friendship that exemplifies our shared mindset and values. The brand’s trailblazing approach with their ‘Don’t crack under pressure’ motto speaks to the way I live my life both on and off the court,” says Osaka.
Osaka, born to Japanese mother and a Haitian-born father, moved to the US when she was toddler, but she will be making her Olympic debut by playing for the host nation this August.
“We are very proud to have Naomi join the TAG Heuer family. Her athletic record and commitment to excellence are outstanding but even more impressive is her passionate spirit and drive for advocacy which is an inspiration to so many. We are excited to support Naomi as she kicks off her 2021 season and prepares for her Olympic debut," says Frédéric Arnault, CEO of TAG Heuer.
Read more about Osaka's brand ambassador appointment and the watch models she's wearing here.