Naomi Osaka revolutionizing tennis on the court and off through recovery with Hyperice
By: Thomas Cluck
(August 26, 2019) Twenty-one year-old Naomi Osaka is a trailblazer, a revolutionary in tennis. A Haitan-Japanese star growing up in the US, Osaka has revolutionized cultures worldwide with her Grand Slam success as the most successful Japanese player in history, introduced a new quirky, slightly-awkward, always-endearing different, multi-ethnic, multi-racial personality to tennis, and introduced a new form of raw power to the sport seen ever so rarely only in the greatest of greats. Now, two Grand Slam titles and a world number one ranking later, and Osaka is at the cutting edge of innovation once again, changing the game in how fitness and recovery is done in tennis through her newly announced partnership with sports and fitness recovery brand Hyperice.
Storming onto the top tennis stage in 2018 with surprise wins in Indian Wells for her first title and a stunning upset of 23-time major champion Serena Williams in a highly-publicized, controversy-filled championship match in New York to win her maiden Grand Slam crown at the US Open, Osaka has been thrust into the global spotlight as one of the highest paid, most marketable, and most successful female athletes hailing from a nation in Japan that is enthralled in support of Osaka ahead of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next summer.
Add on the second act to that, a second-straight major crowd Down Under in Melbourne to win the Australian Open and achieve the top spot of the world number one ranking, and Osaka is pushing boundaries as a record-breaker, trailblazer, risk-taker, and innovator a sport so often resistant and averse to change. Galvanizing a new, younger generation of sports fans and boundary-breakers and leading the way in a country so attune to leading at the cutting edge of innovation and Osaka is the perfect fit to lead the charge to revolutionize fitness and recovery in tennis with Hyperice.
“When I first started using Hyperice, I immediately noticed a difference in how loose yet strong my body felt. I feel it is my duty as a professional athlete to educate my peers on the importance of taking recovery seriously,” said Osaka. “Previously, I would think to warmup and recover before and after a tough practice or game. Now, I’m using Hyperice’s technology in my everyday life to make sure my body and overall health are being prioritized.”
Osaka joins a growing movement of trailblazing, boundary-breaking athletes in different sports such as skiing great Lindsey Vonn and NBA star Blake Griffin, embracing the innovative vibration and percussion technology of Hyperice products to bring the next frontier of fitness and recovery to tennis.
“Tennis is unique because we often end up playing matches on back-to-back days and week after week. Only maybe basketball is comparable. So recovery and most important fast recovery is vital,” commented Osaka discussing the benefits of Hyperice’s products in tennis. “Hyperice’s technology has played a big part in my recovery process together with my team.”
Explaining the application of Hyperice’s vibration recovery products centered around freedom and wellness in movement to the movement and physicality of tennis and Osaka said “as I mentioned, matches are frequent and recovery is needed fast so it is very important.”
“Tennis players also need to move quickly and efficiently, that is a big part of the sport. Hyperice has a line of tech products that help athletes improve range of motion and flexibility, which helps for better movement on the court.”
Hyperice’s application and usage to the highest levels of fitness and recovery in tennis are more important now than ever before for Osaka as she races the clock to be fit for the year’s final major and her first career Grand Slam title defense. After sustaining a serious knee injury in Cincinnati that forced her to retire midway through the third set of her quarterfinal with Sofia Kenin, Osaka is utilizing the full range of Hyperice products to fast-track her recovery and prepare her to be at peak performance once again in New York.
“I have actually been working closely with my physio and for recovery we have been using both the Hyperice ice compression knee device for cold therapy, and the Venom knee device for heat and vibration therapy,” explained Osaka. “Hyperice had these hand delivered to my hotel room the night of my injury and I am feeling good.”
At a time when the 21 year-old is facing the greatest pressure, expectations, and stress in her young career so far, Osaka is believing in the new, innovative technology of Hyperice to take her revolutionary on-court game to the next level, something she felt made Hyperice standout as different for a player so different from everyone else.
“It’s the combination of how powerful the devices are, the fact that they are lightweight and portable so I can take them anywhere, and that they are super quiet- especially the Hypervolt.”
“I had seen a lot of other professional athletes using the products in the NBA. These devices were developed by aerospace engineers, and are all designed to aid in recovery, mobility and injury prevention. Hyperice is very popular in Japan as well,” said Osaka.
Beyond the blistering serves and fearsome forehands Osaka cracks on a regular basis in a naturally powerful fashion no one has seen since young Venus and Serena Williams, Naomi is looking to be at the forefront of the newest innovative trends in tennis, revolutionizing the way fitness and physical recovery is practiced and prioritized in the sport.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@Naomi_Osaka_) August 21, 2019
“Training, fitness, and recovery are a huge part of my daily routine- I find myself performing at my peak when I prioritize these. It gives me huge confidence when I know I have prepared as best as I can,” commented Osaka.
“I believe I train harder than my competition so when matches get long or tough I never worry about my body giving in. I know that what I do off the court to maintain my performance and health directly translates to what I do on the court. This is important to me. I want to have a long and healthy career and play at the top level for as long as I can- like people I admire such as Kobe [Bryant] and Usain Bolt.”
Asked to describe the process of recovery, fitness, and preparation once again for a match during a typical tournament, Osaka said “I always start with a 15 minute ice bath which I hate and then I move into a warm bath which I love and infuse with Japanese bath salts. Then I will use the Hypervolt or Venom [heat and vibration] to relax the muscles, and for daily body maintenance.”
“I also actively stretch and make sure to hydrate to avoid muscle cramping. I drink Body Armor Lyte as it’s a healthier alternative to all other sports drinks, which gives me all I need to recover electrolytes, potassium and vitamins.”
Very few players have been given the corporate opportunities to partner with and champion as big a variety of brands and missions like Osaka has and for the 21 year-old, being at the cutting edge of innovation and making a broader impact beyond how recovery was practiced in tennis but in the whole fitness of the world was at the helm of what attracted the Japanese star to Hyperice.
““Athletes spend so much time training for competition, and we quickly realize how important it is to take care of your body while doing so. If your body is not right you cannot compete and perform at the highest levels.”
“Recovery and movement technology did not really exist just five or so years ago, and now it is an essential part of our daily regimen. I loved that Hyperice was leading and innovating this category, and quite honestly, I loved their mission, to help everyone on Earth move better. I found it exciting, and wanted to be part of it.”
That mission and drive to shape the way Earth moves, make it better, and lead the way on how tennis moves in recovery as well is the same type of daring determination Osaka will need to continue revolutionizing tennis on and off the court. Now though, her efforts to innovate and inspire a new wave of fitness and recovery will lead the way for her efforts on the court to keep breaking boundaries as to how the game is played, a movement she’ll hope she can continue as she begins her title defense Tuesday against Russian Anna Blinkova in round one on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the stage where the trail she’s begun blazing first started to burn.