Two grand slam titles, the world No. 1 spot and now Naomi Osaka has been honored by Barbie.
It’s in recognition of the 21-year-old’s win at the 2018 US Open and then a second consecutive grand slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year as Osaka rose from world No. 72 to top of the rankings – the first Asian to hold the position.
The announcement that Osaka is to be celebrated with her own doll comes as toy manufacturer Mattel marks the 60th birthday of the iconic brand, while Friday, March 8 is also International Women’s Day.
Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and father is from Haiti, tweeted earlier this week about her pride at being viewed as an influential female figure to young children.
She said: “Recently a lot of parents have been coming up to me and telling me that their kids look up to me, those words literally blew me away. I was honestly so shocked and felt this huge responsibility because I remember how important my role models are.
“Fast forward a few days and I’m here at Indian Wells, I see all these kids that look so happy to see me and they ask for pictures and autographs … Honestly I wanted to cry because my heart feels so full in these moments and I realize that it isn’t just about tennis, it’s about inspiring the next generation.”