Naomi Osaka had an interesting interview with ESPN in February, and she recalled her last year's US Open final win over Serena Williams in September. The crowd was all cheering for the American. “If I were to put it bluntly, I know that there’s a lot of people that don’t like Serena, and I feel like they’re just looking for someone to sort of jump on to be against her and I feel like they found that in me.
Of course, I don’t really like that... I want people to go with me for the right reasons. If I’m being blunt, I feel like that’s happened a lot, like after the U.S. Open", said Osaka. The Japanese feels the ultimate admiration for Serena despite all what happened: “I love Serena.
Growing up... I really loved watching her matches, and honestly, I wouldn’t be where I am without her. That’s a fact. She opened so many doors for tennis and especially for people of colour. When you’re little and you’re growing up and you’re watching people, like the Indian Wells thing that happened."
“Having that chance to represent people that might not think that they could be represented, that’s a really important goal of mine. It’s a little bit surreal because last year nothing like that would have come my way but this year I have opportunities like that."