Naomi Osaka wore custom butterfly shoes in reminder of her viral Australian Open clash with a butterfly
Naomi Osaka is back in action at the Australian Open.
The 24-year-old tennis superstar recorded a dominating victory in the first round of this year’s tournament. And while she doesn’t need any extra help succeeding Down Under – having already won two of her four career Grand Slam titles at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena – Osaka has looked to one of his lucky charms to kick off his title defense.
Last year, en route to winning its last Grand Slam, Osaka had a astonishing encounter in the field with a butterfly. The little creature fluttered around his racquet and even landed on his face, prompting the Japan international to pause his game and help the butterfly to safety.
Since then, the butterfly has become something of an unofficial good luck charm for the hard hitter. And since she couldn’t be sure a second butterfly would join her on the court at this year’s tournament, she donned custom Nike butterfly shoes in Sunday’s opener.
The kicks seem to be working for Osaka, who beat Colombian Camila Osorio 6-3, 6-3 in her Australian Open 2022 debut.
The sneakers are Naomi Osaka’s NikeCourt Air Zoom GP Turbo Women’s Hard Tennis Shoes, as confirmed to Insider by a Nike representative. The orange colourway with the butterfly design that Osaka wore for her first-round match will not be available for general purchase.
“Naomi’s Oz shoes are a celebration of when the butterfly visited her on the court during the tournament last year,” a Nike representative told Insider. “The orange colorway she wore in round one is a player exclusive.”
—NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) January 17, 2022
But on Wednesday, as she beat American Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-4 to advance to the third round, Osaka sported the same butterfly shoe design with a blue base. Nike told Insider that “the Osaka teal colorway with the same butterfly design is set to release this month and is priced at $150.”
Check them out:
So far, Osaka has come through this year’s Australian Open. It remains to be seen if she will stick to butterfly kicks for her third-round match against Amanda Anisimova on Thursday.
But a little extra luck can’t hurt.
—NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) January 19, 2022