Naomi Osaka: “I grew up watching Serena Williams’ matches”

Naomi Osaka has got the Australian Open final twice and the US Open twice: she has therefore never lost in the last act of a Slam. Naomi won her 4th Slam by beating Jennifer Brady in the 2021 Australian Open final. In the last hours Osaka said about the bats players of this era:

“I grew up watching Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal games. I think that influenced me. In every tournament I feel everyone is watching her carefully in the locker room. I didn’t serve very well against her, I think I had negative percentages and maybe the reason is that I thought too much about what could have happened.

The final moment was very significant for me, playing against Serena in the Grand Slams is something incredible and moments that I will remember for a lifetime. Me veteran? Past experiences helped me a lot this time and in this tournament I didn’t panic even when I was really struggling against Garbine Muguruza, that was the most complicated match.

Today I didn’t want to worry too much and the goal was to get the most out of it and play every point in the best possible way. Initially I wanted to be the first Japanese tennis player to win a Grand Slam title, then new goals appeared and seeing my name written on the winners’ name is always a special effect. 

Osaka talked about her match and her rival. She also praised again Serena. She said: “I was just really, like, nervous and scared I think in the beginning.

Then I sort of eased my way into it. It’s always an honor to play her. I just didn’t want to go out like really bad , so I just wanted to try my best. I don’t know if there’s any little kids out here today, but I was a little kid watching her play and just to be on the court playing against her for me is a dream.”

Naomi Osaka won her 4th Slam by beating Jennifer Brady in the 2021 Australian Open final

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