Naomi Osaka Opens up About Refurbishing Childhood Tennis Court, Being Ambassador for BodyArmor (Exclusive)

The US Open Tennis Championships and BodyArmor just announced BodyArmor Lyte would be the official sports drink of the tournament. In light of the news, 2018 US Open Champion Naomi Osaka announced her collaboration with BodyArmor Lyte to refurbish a tennis court facility in Jamaica, Queens. The court holds a special place in her heart, revealing it is where she first started playing tennis at the age of 3.

In an exclusive with PopCulture.com, the 22-year-old shared how giving her home court a face-lift was something she always wanted to do. "I know how fortunate I have been and I have always vowed to give back to the community that helped raise me," Osaka told PopCulture. "No matter how my tennis career pans out, staying focused on charity is important to me."

Osaka officially joined BodyArmor in August 2019 as a partner and ambassador. When talking about how she got involved with the sports drink, Osaka said it was late NBA legend Kobe Bryant who introduced her to BodyArmnor. Bryant, who was Osaka's "mentor," was a longtime partner and investor in the brand since 2013. When he died in January, his ownership stake was passed to his wife Vanessa and his remaining children.

"The product is completely different than any other sports drink I've used so when I was given the opportunity to partner and invest in the product, it was an easy decision for me," Osaka said when talking about BodyArmor. As Osaka works to get her home tennis court refurbished, she is also getting ready to compete in the US Open. After winning the US Open in 2018, Osaka reached the fourth round last year. This will be the first major competition for Osaka since the Australian Open in January.

"I'm really looking forward to New York," she said. "I think that time away has really made me realize how much I love the competition. It's what motivates me every day when I'm training. I can't wait to be back." Osaka is currently training for the US Open and during quarantine, she was forced to be creative to stay in shape.

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"At first training was different because it was entirely remote," Osaka stated. "Once we were able to safely assemble the team, we were able to develop some semblance of normalcy (of course still at a distance and with minimal contact.) We've been quarantining together and have been getting creative with home workouts."

The US Open is scheduled to be held on time and at the traditional location, Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13. Spectators will not be allowed at the tournament and there will be a limited media presence.