Tennis champ Naomi Osaka has announced a collaboration with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami on a Yonex EZONE 98 tennis racket and carrying case. Sponsored by Yonex, Osaka will debut the EZONE 98 racket at the upcoming U.S. Open in Queens, New York.
The white racket, box and equipment backpack is detailed with Murakami’s cherry blossom design alongside Osaka’s trademarked bear holding a flower motif. The Tokyo-born tennis player’s name is also printed on the throat of the racket.
Commenting on the effort on Instagram, Osaka wrote, “so happy with this one, was always an admirer of @takashipom so to be able to finally collaborate together is really a dream. Infinite thank you’s to @yonex_tennis for trusting me with the vision and because this project wouldn’t have come to life so amazingly without them.”
Osaka and Murakami’s collaborative capsule won’t be available to purchase at retail, however, a limited number will be auctioned off in support Play Academy with Naomi Osaka, a non-profit Osaka launched in Tokyo in August 2020 with the goal of improving girls’ lives through sport.
Check out additional images of the racket and backpack below.