Naomi Osaka received love and support from her fellow athletes at this year’s ESPY Awards, where she received the Best Female Athlete award.
The tennis champion attended the 2021 ESPYs at The Rooftop at Pier 17 at the Seaport in New York City yesterday, in her first public appearance since she withdrew from Wimbledon and the French Open. Osaka wore a green Louis Vuitton skirt and a stripped black and white top with gold accents on the shoulders. Her hair was styled in a sleek ponytail with rhinestones adorning her edges.
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Osaka gave thanks to her supporters and fans during her acceptance speech. “I just really want to not say a long speech because I’m a bit nervous … I know this year has been really, it hasn’t even finished, but it’s been really tough for a lot of us. For me, I just want to say, I really love you guys and this is my first ESPYs so it’s really cool to be surrounded by all these incredible athletes. I think all of you guys are really cool and I watch some of you on TV so it’s really surreal to be here and yeah, thank you so much and I really appreciate it,” said Osaka.
Osaka shared several behind-the-scenes pics of the ESPYs on Instagram. The slideshow, which begins with a clip of Osaka’s acceptance speech, includes pics Osaka posing with her friends and her boyfriend, rapper Cordae.
Osaka opened up about her history with depression earlier this year when she withdrew from the French Open to focus on her mental health. The tennis star wrote a personal essay for Time earlier this week, where she discussed her decision to withdraw further and revealed that she had received support from famous figures including Michelle Obama, Steph Curry and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.
Osaka also wrote that she’s looking forward in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. “After taking the past few weeks to recharge and spend time with my loved ones, I have had the time to reflect, but also to look forward. I could not be more excited to play in Tokyo. An Olympic Games itself is special, but to have the opportunity to play in front of the Japanese fans is a dream come true. I hope I can make them proud,” she said.
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US.