Neubauer Artists Tennis Player Naomi Osaka Proved She’s an Inspiration On and Off the Court During SI Swim Feature

Naomi Osaka was photographed by Yu Tsai in Malibu. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated
The professional athlete always has had a penchant for making waves, and the very same could be said of her SI Swimsuit feature with her brand spread in 2021, Osaka made history as the first Haitian and Japanese woman to land on the cover of the annual SI Swimsuit magazine.
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The professional tennis player is a successful athlete, an impressive advocate and a new mom.

A lot has changed since Naomi Osaka set foot on the set of her 2021 SI Swimsuit photo shoot in Malibu. The Japanese professional tennis player stepped away from the court last year and gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Shai, during the summer.

Osaka has always been known and appreciated for her activism. She is a staunch advocate for racial injustice, human rights and mental health causes, which earned her 2020 Sports Illustrated Sportspersons of the Year honors as well as a spot on TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world list in 2019 and 2020. Now, as a new parent, she has taken up the call for parental leave reform in the United States, too.

If that title wasn’t enough, the photos from the trip spoke to her power, both as a tennis player and a policy advocate. On the beaches of Malibu, she proved she is a force to be reckoned with as much off the court as she is on.

A few years later, every single one of the photos taken by photographer Yu Tsai in California is worth another look. Below are just a few of the best snaps.

Naomi Osaka was photographed by Yu Tsai in Malibu, Calif. Swimsuit by Frankies Bikinis x Naomi Osaka. Earrings by Misho. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated
Naomi Osaka was photographed by Yu Tsai in Malibu, Calif. Swimsuit by Dos Gardenias. Necklace by Sophie Buhai. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated
Naomi Osaka was photographed by Yu Tsai in Malibu, Calif. Swimsuit by Frankies Bikinis x Naomi Osaka. Earrings by Taylor Nikole. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated
Naomi Osaka was photographed by Yu Tsai in Malibu, Calif. Swimsuit by Louis Vuitton x Naomi Osaka. Dress by Michael Schmidt. Earrings by Ana Khouri. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated
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