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This year, the 24-year-old wore custom Nike butterfly shoes during her first-round match Down Under.
The butterfly has become something of an unofficial good-luck charm for the 4-time Grand Slam champ.
Naomi Osaka is back in action at the Australian Open.
The 24-year-old tennis superstar registered a dominant win in the first round of this year's tournament. And even though she needs no extra help succeeding Down Under — having already won two of her four career Grand Slam titles at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena — Osaka leaned into one of her good luck charms to kick off her title defense.
Last year, en route to winning her most recent Grand Slam, Osaka had an astounding on-court encounter with a butterfly. The little critter fluttered around her racket and even landed on her face, prompting the Japanese international to pause her match 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 that a second butterfly would join her on the court at this year's tournament, she donned custom Nike butterfly shoes during Sunday's opening match.
The kicks seem to be working for Osaka, who took down Colombia's Camila Osorio 6-3, 6-3 in her 2022 Australian Open debut.
The sneakers are NikeCourt Air Zoom GP Turbo Naomi Osaka women's hard court tennis shoes, as confirmed to Insider by a representative for Nike. The orange colorway with the butterfly design that Osaka wore for her first-round match will not be available for general purchase.
"Naomi's Oz footwear is a celebration of the moment the butterfly visited her on court during the tournament last year," a Nike representative told Insider. "The orange colorway she wore in the first round is a player exclusive."
—NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) January 17, 2022
But on Wednesday, as she downed 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 tells Insider that Osaka's "teal colorway with the same butterfly design is scheduled to release this month and priced at $150 USD."
Check 'em out:
So far, Osaka has cruised through this year's Australian Open. It remains to be seen if she'll stick with the 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
Read the original article on Insider