Naomi Osaka covers Vogue Japan’s August issue amid mental health break

Osaka shared pictures from her exclusive photoshoot for the magazine to her social media accounts

Naomi Osaka is back on social media — sort of. The tennis star is officially the cover model for Vogue Japan‘s August issue.

It’s been weeks since Osaka’s historic decision to pull out of the French Open to protect her mental health.

The decision was a landmark one, sparking conversations surrounding women and women of color in sports, mental health, and more all over the world. In the weeks since, Osaka has not posted much on social media, with her last post being her official withdrawal announcement.

On Monday morning, however, Osaka returned with a post of her recent photo shoot with Vogue Japan.

2021 Australian Open Women's Trophy Media Opportunity
Australian Open winner Naomi Osaka of Japan on February 21, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

In the colorful pics, Osaka wears multiple outfits, including a pink and green all-Nike athleisure look.

In her caption, Osaka referenced her absence from social media.

She wrote in the caption, “Hi guys. Popping out to post this @voguejapan cover, hope you’re all doing well and staying safe 🧡💚.”

Osaka’s inclusion as the cover star for Vogue Japan is a special one, considering she was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Haitian father.

In Osaka’s initial post following her withdrawal from the French Open, she opened up about her mental health and battle with depression to her followers.

She shared at the time, “I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer…the truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.” 

She continued, “I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.”

As theGrio previously reported, Osaka is also set to skip out on Wimbledon this year but is confirmed to take part in the Olympics.

Per the report, Osaka’s agent, Stuart Duguid, said in an email that the four-time Grand Slam champion does plan to head to the Summer Games after skipping Wimbledon.

‘She is taking some personal time with friends and family,’ Duguid wrote. ‘She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.'”

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