Game, set, torch.
It’s been a whirlwind summer for Naomi Osaka, but the superstar tennis player, was given one of sport’s highest honors of Friday morning: The 23-year-old lit the Olympic cauldron at the conclusion of the opening ceremony, officially signaling the start of the 2021 Olympic games.
The lighter of the cauldron is oftentimes a well-guarded secret, and many were pleased and pleasantly surprised with the tennis star getting the nod to light the cauldron.
Osaka has had a tumultuous few months: First, she withdrew from 2021 French Open, citing the pressures and rigors from the media, along with her mental health as reasons for not continuing play in the tournament.
She would also refrain from playing in Wimbledon, but is going to play in the 2021 Olympiad, representing Japan. She is also planning to play in the U.S. Open in September.
Osaka’s resume grows: The four-time major event winner is widely considered one of the best tennis players in the world regardless of gender, and now she can add Olympic torch lighting to her accomplishments.
Fans came out in support of Osaka on Friday:
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) July 23, 2021
Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic flame has very ‘set your haters on fire’ energy, and I bet Megyn Kelly and the WTA felt it, too.
— Abby (@abbythetweet) July 23, 2021
The opening ceremony is usually chill for me and I crack my jokes, but Naomi Osaka lighting the flame just gave me chills. So happy for her.
— Andrew Hammond (@ahammFreePress) July 23, 2021
You go, Naomi.