The touching reason behind Naomi Osaka’s unique custom sneakers at her first match of the Australian Open
- Naomi Osaka has made her 2022 Australian Open debut wearing new sneakers
- The 24-year-old’s shoes resemble an orange and black ‘Monarch’ butterfly
- The Japanese champ ‘saved’ a butterfly in 2021 before taking out the grand slam
Naomi Osaka has paid homage to the butterfly which appeared to ‘bless’ her on the court in last year’s Australian Open by wearing sneakers inspired by the insect.
The 24-year-old made her 2022 on-court debut on Sunday, stunning fans with her bright orange and black butterfly winged sneakers.
Osaka took out the Australian Open title last year – but a sweet moment with the common Monarch butterfly arguably stole the show.
Naomi Osaka has paid homage to the butterfly which appeared to ‘bless’ her on the court in last year’s Australian Open – wearing shoes designed to look like the insect
The grand slam champion earned respect among tennis fans when she kindly dealt with interference from a butterfly last year
The young world champion player was competing against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeu in the third round of the 2021 competition when the insect joined the women on the court.
It flew across the arena and landed on Osaka’s leg – so in a touching moment which won her admiration from tennis lovers across the globe the star stopped the game.
She went to the side of the court and carefully ‘freed’ the butterfly.
But the colourful insect simply fluttered up to Osaka’s face and perched on her nose.
The four-time grand slam champion went on to win the 2021 competition.
And though the hard hitter doesn’t need an lucky trinkets to improve her game it appears she too remembers the magical moment.
The butterfly appeared quite happy to sit with Osaka who ended up winning the tournament
At the time fans were quick to comment in adoration of the young star with many comparing her to ‘Disney’s princesses’.
‘The butterfly is in love with you Naomi Osaka,’ another person wrote.
‘Even the butterflies in Australia love Naomi Osaka,’ the official Australian Open Twitter account tweeted.
The new butterfly-themed shoes have delighted fans who last year compared her to Disney’s princesses
‘She’s the butterfly whisperer,’ a third comment read.
Osaka won the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021. She took out the US Open titles in 2018 and 2020.
The shoes appear to be Nike’s Court Air Zoom GP Turbo’s, which retail for $200, however the butterfly design doesn’t appear to be available to the public.
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