Naomi Osaka is one of the most recognizable and marketable names in tennis. She was raised in America but born in Japan and competes under the Japanese flag on the tour. It’s only logical that she would be sponsored by the Japanese racquet company Yonex.
With special editions and collaborative paintjobs aplenty, Naomi has been integral in Yonex’s rise to prominence across the tennis world. She endorses Yonex’s Ezone line. It’s marketed as the “EZ One” and the most powerful silo of the company’s offerings, something Naomi’s game embodies perfectly.
Her special edition racquets include an all-gold limited edition, a collaboration with artist Takashi Murakami, and currently a paintjob she created herself with help from her sister.
While all of these are fun novelties, the most interesting fact about her racquet right now is that it seems we mortals can buy it right from our pro shop shelves!
Here’s Naomi Osaka’s tennis racquet:
- Endorsed Racquet: Yonex Ezone 98 2022
- Actual Racquet: Yonex Ezone 98 2022, previously Ezone Ai 98
- Strings: Yonex Poly Tour Strike Mains and Babolat VS Touch Natural Gut @ 59/56#
One of the few professional players using a racquet currently available off the retail shelf is none other than Naomi Osaka.
The former WTA World Number 1 and winner of 4 grand slams recently switched from her Yonex Ezone Ai 98 to the current 2022 Yonex Ezone 98. This is easily confirmed by looking at pictures of her current racquet. The new Ezones have a raised rib on the beam that was absent on all prior versions.
Below, we see her Ai98 given away by the bumper guard styling on her Ezone DR 98 paintjob next to the 2022 Ezone in Osaka’s own special edition paint she designed. The current model’s raised rib is present just above the top of her grip.
Does She Customize?
Like nearly all professional players, Naomi adds weight to her racquet. Her frames are likely produced as “pro stock” frames by Yonex and later customized.
She has Yonex branded lead tape in the hoop of her frame and uses a leather grip instead of the usual synthetic rubber grip on the Ezone line. Reportedly, her specs come out to 341g, 31.8cm balance, and 324 swingweight.
The mass and slight increase in swingweight give her increased control over her powerful shots and offer more stability against incoming pace. They’re modifications that make sense for Osaka’s offensive minded style of play.
Further, Naomi strings her racquet with Yonex Poly Tour Strike mains at 59 pounds and Babolat VS Touch Natural Gut crosses at 56 pounds.
This tighter tension adds control to her already powerful game. She has used different colors of poly tour strike mains in the past and used the neon yellow Yonex Poly Tour Pro before Strike was released.
Her crosses were reported as Yonex Rexis or other Yonex multifilaments in the past by Yonex and other knowledgable contributors.
I personally think it’s super cool to see a top professional player using what is effectively an off-the-shelf racquet. Yes, she customizes it to her specs and preferences.
But, she doesn’t need some secret layup, professionals only top-secret frame to play championship tennis.
Though she’s been struggling with her mental health and her results in more recent times, Naomi still has potential to play some of the best tennis in the world…all while wielding something anybody can buy!
If you’re interested in other WTA players’ racquets, I listed all the top 50 players’ racquets in this post.