Tip News

December 10, 2018

Osaka shows killer instinct, soft heart in Grand Slam breakthrough

Osaka shows killer instinct, soft heart in Grand Slam breakthrough
'Champion: US Open champion Naomi Osaka' - By: AFP TIMOTHY A. CLARY

The killer instinct that carried Japan's Naomi Osaka to a first Grand Slam title evaporated as she hugged her idol Serena Williams after beating her in a controversial US Open final.

Osaka said it wasn't the ire of the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd -- angered at penalties meted out to Williams -- but just the realization that she'd robbed the US great who inspired her career of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

"I know that she really wanted to have the 24th Grand Slam," said Osaka, who choked up again herself trying to explain her feelings.

"When I step onto the court, I feel like a different person, right? I'm not a Serena fan. I'm just a tennis player playing another tennis player.

"But then when I hugged her at the net I felt like a little kid again."

Osaka, 20, looked nothing like a kid as she took the court aiming to become Japan's first Grand Slam winner.

Undaunted by the massive pro-Williams crowd -- extra noisy with the Ashe stadium roof closed because of rain -- she broke Williams twice for a quick 4-1 lead in the opening set, displaying the kind of powerful ground game and dominant serve that have made Williams herself a star.

She had locked up the first in style with a blistering service winner when Williams was incensed by a code violation warning for receiving coaching from her box in the second game of the second set.

Although Williams would take a 3-1 lead in the set, the accusation festered, and soon a violation for racquet abuse cost her a point while a third for verbal abuse cost her a game.

"I didn't know what was going on, I was just trying to focus. Since it was my first Grand Slam final, I did not want to get overwhelmed," Osaka said.

"Serena came to the bench and told me she had a point penalty and when she got the game penalty I didn't know that either.

"I was just trying to focus on myself at that time," Osaka said.

A somewhat muted reaction to her history-making victory had nothing to do with the late-match chaos, Osaka said.

Kei Nishikori is the only other Japanese player to reach a Grand Slam final, and he couldn't take the last step, falling to Marin Cilic in the 2014 US Open men's final.

"To have a huge reaction isn't really me in the first place," she said. "It just still didn't really feel that real."

Osaka, who earned $3.8 million (3.29 million Euros) for the victory, said her next goal was a simple one: to win her next tournament in Tokyo.

Asked if she was prepared for the reception she'll receive as the country's first Grand Slam winner, Osaka said: "Apparently not, because people keep asking me that."

Short link: https://tipnews.com/u/NjQzNDc=

See also:

Related articles

Lukaku confident he is over post-World Cup slump

Lukaku confident he is over post-World Cup slump

Romelu Lukaku believes he has finally emerged from his post-World Cup slump, with the Manchester United striker revealing he had to shed muscle to adapt to the demands of the Premier League.After a promising first season at Old Trafford the 25-year-old has str

Gomez signs new long-term Liverpool deal

Gomez signs new long-term Liverpool deal

Defender Joe Gomez has signed a new contract with Liverpool that will keep him at Anfield until 2024, the club announced on Monday.The England international, currently out for up to six weeks with a fractured leg, has been impressive this season both alongside

Klopp 'not one second worried' about Salah's early season form

Klopp 'not one second worried' about Salah's early season form

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he was not worried for "one second" about Mohamed Salah's form this season after his relatively sluggish start.The Egypt forward made it 10 Premier League goals for the campaign with his hat-trick in Saturday's 4-0 win at B

HELLO, PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO RATE THIS POST Osaka shows killer instinct, soft heart in Grand Slam breakthrough

Sending comment Close