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Naomi Osaka wins ESPY for Best Female Athlete

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Naomi Osaka is the 2021 ESPY winner for Best Athlete, Women’s Sports.

Saturday night’s award ceremony served as Osaka’s first public appearance since pulling out of the French Open and Wimbledon, citing mental health struggles. Osaka’s openness about her health has inspired a public conversation about the expectations placed on athletes and mental wellbeing at large.

The tennis phenom is expected to return to the court in Tokyo, representing her home country of Japan in the Olympic Games.

Additional 2021 ESPY award winners:

  • Arthur Ashe Courage Award: Maya Moore
  • Best Coach: Tara VanDerveer
  • Best WWE Moment: Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair make history as the first Black women to main event WrestleMania
  • Best College Athlete, Women’s Sports: Paige Bueckers (UConn basketball)
  • Best Championship Performance: Simone Biles
  • Best WNBA Player: Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm)
  • Best Athlete, Women’s Golf: Sei Young Kim
  • Best International Athlete, Women’s Soccer: Sam Mewis (Manchester City/ USWNT)
  • Best NWSL Player: Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars)
  • Best Athlete, Women’s Action Sports: Chloe Kim