WTA Tour

Top-ranked Osaka one of new Barbie 'Sheroes'

2019-03-08 06:09
Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka (AP)

Indian Wells - World No 1 Naomi Osaka said on Thursday she finds it "a little bit surreal" that there's a new version of the iconic Barbie doll in her likeness.

The Japanese star, who won her second straight Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, joins the list of inspiring women who are part of Barbie's "Sheroes" series - a group that also includes gymnast Laurie Hernandez and Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.

"I think it means a lot, especially since when I was a kid I was playing with Barbie dolls," Osaka said at Indian Wells - where her first WTA title last year launched a 2018 campaign that would see her win her first Grand Slam crown at the US Open.

Osaka, who has a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, said her own Barbie was an honour, and also an opportunity.

"Just having the chance to represent people who might not think that they could be represented that's a really important goal of mine," she said.

But the 21-year-old is still not entirely comfortable as a role model.

"When I got approached by these little kids and they were so cute and they wanted autographs - I started thinking about when I was little and I went to tournament to support my favourite players and I wanted to be just like them.

"It felt really crazy to me that I'm possible in the shoes of the people that I looked up to. It was really mind-blowing."

Results on Thursday in the Indian Wells WTA and ATP Masters hardcourt tournament (x-denotes seeded player):


First round

Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) bt Elias Ymer (SWE) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) bt Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) 6-4, 6-0

Leonardo Mayer (ARG) bt Reilly Opelka (USA) 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/2)

Albert Ramos (ESP) bt Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-1, 6-2

Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt Matthew Ebden (AUS) 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/3)

Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) bt Benoit Paire (FRA) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Malek Jaziri (TUN) bt Bradley Klahn (USA) 6-4, 6-2

Jordan Thompson (AUS) bt Federico Del Bonis (ARG) 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/5)

Martin Klizan (SVK) bt Mischa Zverev (GER) 6-1, 6-4

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) bt John Millman (AUS) 6-1, 6-3

Marcos Giron (USA) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/1)

Sam Querrey (USA) bt Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 6-4

Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) bt Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-3, 6-2

Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Guido Andreozzi (ARG) bt Ilya Ivashka (BLR) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4

Maximilian Marterer (GER) bt Ugo Humbert (FRA) 6-4, 6-2


First round

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) bt Zheng Saisai (CHN) 7-5, 6-2

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) bt Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 7-5, 3-6, 7-5

Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) bt Alison Riske (USA) 7-6 (7/1), 6-4

Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) bt Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 7-5, 3-6, 6-2

Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) bt Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-7 (3/7), 7-5, 6-2

Madison Brengle (USA) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS) 6-2, 6-3

Monica Puig (PUR) bt Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 6-0, 6-4

Misaki Doi (JPN) bt Ons Jabeur (TUN) 6-3, 6-3

Venus Williams (USA) bt Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-4, 0-6, 6-3

Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) bt Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-7 (3/7), 7-5, 6-2

Mona Barthel (GER) bt Zhu Lin (CHN) 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 7-5

Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-2, 6-2

Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) bt Alize Cornet (FRA) 7-5, 6-3

Jessica Pegula (USA) bt Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 6-1, 6-1

Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) bt Priscilla Hon (AUS) 6-1, 6-1

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 6-1, 6-3

Read more on:    wta tour  |  naomi osaka  |  tennis


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