Tennis star Naomi Osaka has blasted ‘creepy’ Instagram critics who accused her of failing to ‘maintain her innocent image’ after she posted images of herself wearing a bikini in her Florida backyard.
The 22-year-old, who has spent much of lockdown at her home in Florida, hit out at the trolls in a scathing tweet posted over the weekend, admitting that she it is ‘creeping her out’ to see all of the comments being made about her body and her choice of swimwear.
‘I just wanna say it’s creeping me out how many people are commenting @ me to maintain my “innocent image” and “don’t try to be someone your not”,’ the 2018 US Open champion wrote.
Under fire: Tennis star Naomi Osaka has hit out at Instagram critics who have accused her of failing to ‘maintain her innocent image’ by posting images of herself in bikinis
‘Creepy’: The 22-year-old, who was born in Japan but lives in Florida, said that it is ‘creeping her out’ to see all the comments about her body and choice of swimwear
Statement: Naomi shared her thoughts about the critics on Twitter over the weekend, hitting out at those who have ‘commented on what she can wear’
She then proceeded to rage against anyone who thinks that they have a right to comment on another person’s wardrobe, tweeting: ‘You don’t know me, I’m 22, I wear swimsuits to the pool. Why do you feel like you can comment on what I can wear?’
Naomi’s passionate tweet came just one day after she last posted an image of herself in swimwear – a posed snap in which she is seen modeling a pair of blue bikini bottoms and a vibrant yellow sweater.
While many people – including Hailey Bieber – were quick to post positive comments on the image, others made leering observations about the Japanese-born sportstar’s body, branding her ‘chunky’ and calling out the fact that she wasn’t wearing pants.
‘Pants game non[existent],’ one person wrote, while another simply commented: ‘Chunky dunky.’
One Instagram user told the tennis star that she should be ‘focusing on the upcoming competitions’, suggesting that posting images of herself will stop her from winning – despite the fact that she has also shared videos of herself working out and practicing on the courts.
Outrage: Naomi has posted a series of snaps of herself at the pool during lockdown – only to face cruel comments about her ‘chunky body’ and criticism over her ‘half naked’ look
Superstar: The sports star first shot to global fame after beating Serena Williams in the final of the 2018 US Open (pictured)
Debate: Naomi’s US Open win was clouded by controversy after Serena was slammed for yelling at the umpire when he handed her a string of fines
‘I don’t get why you would post half naked pics of yourself,’ another chimed in. ‘Have some class… you don’t need to do this.’
When Naomi shared a series of bikini images in mid-July, she faced similar comments from followers – with one even claiming that she was only sharing photos of herself in swimwear because she ‘needs a boyfriend’.
‘She probably needs a boyfriend, but doesn’t want the press to say something nasty about it,’ the person wrote.
Naomi has spent years on the professional tennis circuit, however she shot to fame in 2018 after beating Serena Williams in the final of the US Open during a heated game that saw mother-of-one Serena shouting at the umpire for issuing her with a string of fines.
Despite the bitter controversy surrounding the match, Naomi has gone on to find great success both on and off the courts, winning the Australian Open in 2019 – before unseating Serena as the world’s highest-paid female athlete earlier this year.
Different sides: Naomi does not only post bikini snaps on Instagram – and regularly shares more ‘innocent’ content, including photos of herself at Harry Potter World (left)
You go girl: The tennis star also regularly poses in different sportswear – most often from her sponsor, Nike
In May, Forbes revealed that Naomi raked in $37.4 million in prize money and endorsements over the last year – $1.4 million more than Serena who had topped the list for the previous four years.
Part of the stable of management group IMG, Naomi currently has 15 sponsorship deals, including with global brands such as Nike, Nissan Motors, Shiseido and Yonex.
However, while the 2018 US Open win was arguably her best-known victory, Naomi has not yet confirmed whether she will return to the tournament this year – which will see a very slimmed-down line-up amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Serena has already announced her plans to compete, revealing back in June that she ‘cannot wait to… play in the US Open 2020’.
‘I feel like the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing and everything is perfect and everyone is safe,’ the mother-of-one said in a video statement shared by the tennis organization.
‘It’s going to be exciting. It’s been over six months since a lot of us have played professional tennis.’