Tip News

May 21, 2019

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

Fifth Guatemalan child dies in US immigration custody

Fifth Guatemalan child dies in US immigration custody

A 16-year-old boy died Monday at a Border Patrol station in Texas, becoming the fifth child from Guatemala to die since December after being apprehended by US border patrol agents.US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said the teen, who was detained in south

Pope prays as Frenchman's life support switched off

Pope prays as Frenchman's life support switched off

Pope Francis on Monday said "those who live with severe illness" should have life protected until "its natural end", as doctors in France began turning off the life support of a man in a vegetative state."We pray for those who live with severe illness,"

India gender-row sprinter Chand says she is gay

India gender-row sprinter Chand says she is gay

Top Indian sprinter Dutee Chand revealed Sunday that she is gay, becoming the first athlete from the socially conservative country to do so, and adding she feared being ostracised by her family after the admission.Chand, who was at the centre of a lengthy inte

Parents try to remove doctor in French right-to-die case

Parents try to remove doctor in French right-to-die case

The parents of a Frenchman kept alive in a vegetative state for a decade will on Monday try to have the doctor caring for their son removed before he halts life-sustaining treatment the same day, their lawyers said.The last-ditch move by the parents of Vincent



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

Sending comment Close