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Naomi Osaka Stars on Women’s Health Magazine Cover

epa09109111 Naomi Osaka of Japan in action against Maria Sakkari of Greece during their Women’s quarterfinals singles match at the Miami Open tennis tournament in Miami Gardens, Florida, USA, 31 March 2021. EPA-EFE/RHONA WISE

US Open champion Naomi Osaka opens up about anxiety, how philanthropy powers her mental health and life perspective in a new interview with Women’s Health Magazine.

Here’s a sneak peek at highlights from the four-time Grand Slam champion’s interview with Women’s Health Magazine.

 On making some people in the sports community uncomfortable with her bold decision to step away from traditional press obligations:
“We live in a world where people are so quick to speak and to comment. Silence is almost uncomfortable.”

On viewing her introspective nature as a superpower:
“Growing up being [labeled] ‘the quiet one’ puts you in a box and, even worse, makes you stand out when all you want is to blend in. But now I try to embrace and own it.”

On her journey with anxiety and depression:
“I hope I was able to help some people and for them to see that even athletes are still humans like the rest of us. And we all are dealing with something in our lives.”

On her ritual of listening to music––by artists including Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Saweetie––as she arrives to play a match:
“[It] helps dull my social anxiety. Music calms me, it silences the noise that won’t help my game. For me, music is inspiring and uplifting.”

On founding the skin-care company Kinlò, and the illuminating process of creating sun care “specifically for skin like [her] own”:
“I never imagined how eye-opening the statistics on skin cancer in Brown and Black skin would be. It wasn’t enough to make products that didn’t turn our dark skin white and didn’t have harsh chemicals. I also wanted to dispel the myth that just because you have dark skin and don’t burn means you don’t need to take care of and protect that skin.”

On how her business and philanthropic projects power up her mental health:

“The thought that a gesture, an activation, a program can impact and change a life, that’s really powerful to me. Of all the things I do, I find that when I am doing my best to help others, it’s most fulfilling.”

On being firmly rooted in the belief that life is bigger than tennis:
“Now more than ever I see that you can be more than just one thing. More than just someone who plays tennis.”