Naomi Osaka, the former world number one and four-time Grand Slam champion who just inked a sponsorship deal with BodyArmor, a US-based sports drink, inaugurated childhood tennis courts in Queens only days before the start of the US Open.

BodyArmor was purchased by Coca-Cola for a stunning $5.6 billion just a few months after the tournament ended (85 percent stake). The late Kobe Bryant was an early investor in the sports drink company.

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Naomi Osaka. Source: reuters.com

Coca-Cola has acquired a sports drink that Naomi Osaka endorses

In honor of the historic achievement, Kobe’s wife Vanessa turned to Instagram to thank her late husband for all of his efforts in making BodyArmor the finest sports drink in the United States.

“Congratulations Papi!!! This is “no pie in the sky”. You did it! Always one step ahead. I’m so proud of everything you were able to accomplish. I wish you were here to celebrate”, Vanessa wrote.

The relationship between BodyArmor and Osaka began in 2019 after the latter won her second US Open title and third grand slam overall.

Since the agreement, Osaka has become a vocal advocate for BodyArmor’s many efforts and has pledged her support.

BodyArmor Lyte, a subsidiary of the corporation, also brought in Osaka to advertise the product. BodyArmor is currently the second most popular sports drink, behind Gatorade.

Naomi Osaka was knocked out of the US Open in the third round by Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez.

Since then, the Japanese player has decided to retire from the sport indefinitely. With the possibility of returning in 2022 at the Australian Open.

The conditions in Melbourne fit Osaka’s playing style, since she has won a handful of titles. She will be the defending champion next year.

Osaka has struggled to maintain consistent form on the WTA tour after winning the happy slam at the start of the season.

Osaka struggled to adjust her game to the surface even during the European clay-court tour, losing back-to-back matches. She skipped Wimbledon after the French Open scandal and returned to the US hard-court season.

With the 2021 season nearly over, Osaka can look forward to a fresh start in Australia next year, forgetting about her ordeal this year.

Read More: Kimiko Date discusses Naomi Osaka’s mental health decision

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