Serena’s Still The Face Of Women’s Tennis – Osaka

DOWNLOAD THE OGTV MOBILE  APP NOW ON     

  

 

Naomi Osaka on Sunday played down her fast rise into superstardom, believing 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams remains the “face of women’s tennis”.

The 23-year-old has made a significant splash on and off the court since beating a tempestuous Williams in an infamous US Open final in 2018.

The success has made her a firm favourite with fans and sponsors and the Japanese star last year surpassed Williams as the world’s highest paid female athlete after a slew of lucrative deals.

Naomi Osaka (right) says Serena Williams (left) is still the ‘face of tennis’

Despite her increasing fame and fortune — and prominent advocacy for racial injustice — Osaka believes the seven-time Australian Open champion is still the most influential player on the women’s circuit.

 

“Honestly I don’t feel that way (about being the new face)… there’s so many interesting new people. I think I’m one of the new people.”

In her first match since her US Open triumph last year, Osaka fell to Williams in an Adelaide exhibition on Friday after emerging from a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

“I wasn’t really taking it too seriously as a match,” the Japanese player admitted.

“But it was fun to be able to hit with her. I just tried to have fun and experiment a little.”

“I feel like I’ve never thought that it was open,” she said.

“Even in New York, for me, I felt like I played some of my best tennis. I think it showed.

“My semis against (Jennifer) Brady was probably (one of the) top two matches I’ve played in my life.”

“I feel like I’m getting better at slicing. That’s something that I practised during the off-season,” she said. “I feel like there’s a lot of shots that I’m missing.

“I would love to be able to do them properly, be confident with how I feel about it. Dropshots is one of those shots.”

She will compete in the Gippsland Trophy this week ahead of the Australian Open starting February 8.

<<THEGUARDIAN>>

 

 

DOWNLOAD THE OGTV MOBILE  APP NOW ON