Naomi Osaka: I was really dead, then they made me play Serena Williams

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Naomi Osaka: I was really dead, then they made me play Serena Williams

Former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka gave credit to Iga Swiatek for her recent form as the Japanese thinks it's impressive what the Pole has been doing during the Sunshine Double. Swiatek, 20, has won her last 16 matches as she is a win away from winning her first Miami title.

Swiatek won her first title of the season in February in Doha. In March, Swiatek made it all the way at the Indian Wells Masters. Now, Swiatek has been through to the Miami final, where she plays Osaka for the title. Ahead of the final, Osaka recalled winning Indian Wells in 2018 and arriving "dead" to Miami.

“Yeah, I think it's really amazing to see how far she's come. I know when I won Indian Wells I was really dead, and then they made me play Serena in the first round. I was like, Whoa, dude,'" Osaka said, per WTA Insider.

"It’s incredible to see she's still in this tournament and still fighting and going to be No. 1 soon or already. It’s cool. I think the WTA is definitely doing its thing."

Osaka defeated Williams

After winning her first Masters title in Indian Wells, Osaka saw off Williams 6-3 6-2 in the Miami first round.

However, that was all from Osaka as Elina Svitolina ended Osaka's chances of winning the Sunshine Double. Four years later, Swiatek has a realistic chance of winning back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami. Osaka and Swiatek will be meeting for the second time when they meet in the Miami final.

Osaka will be aiming to clinch her second win over Swiatek as the defeated the Pole when they met for the first time at the 2019 Toronto Masters. Osaka will be playing her first final since the 2021 Australian Open. Osaka, who defeated Jennifer Brady in last year's Australian Open final, is aiming to win her first Miami title.