Naomi Osaka: "I can't fill the void left by Serena Williams"

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Naomi Osaka: "I can't fill the void left by Serena Williams"

The Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka will restart from the WTA 500 in Tokyo after an absolutely complicated period, on and off the court. Seasoned only by two successes from the semifinal reached in Miami in April and by the demons that she found herself facing to find herself.

She explained: "Now I feel like I want to play well. Every time I'm in Japan I'm fine, I'm calm, I have good feelings. Thinking of being the reigning champion is strange since we haven't played here since 2019, but of course I'd like to reconfirm.

I can't help but play match after match, but the support of the crowdcould prove to be a decisive factor for me since the Olympics here were played without an audience." With great clarity, the Japanese tennis player tried to take stock of the season: "Obviously it wasn't my best year, but at the same time I think I've learned a lot about myself.

I am happy to be in good health. During the tour in Europe I had some injuries and it took me a long time to recover, but I accepted it. I think life is made up of ups and downs and this has simply been a much lower period than many others.

Having said that, I'm really happy to be in Japan and to feel good."

Naomi Osaka: "I can't fill the void left by Serena Williams"

A life of change, not always positive and not always easy. Osaka focused on how things have evolved since the first Grand Slam victory and how ambitions have not really changed.

She added: "This has been a year of great personal growth for me. I obviously don't feel I can say the same thing from the point of view. I know I'm an aggressive player and I hope I can continue to improve that aspect.

Off the court, I think it is incredible to see how tennis has given so many opportunities also on a humanitarian level." A question about Serena Williams is inevitable, also a question about the parallelism that was created right after the success in the final against the US champion in Flushing Meadows.

She concluded: "I got through that phase where I was trying to fill the void left by someone else. You can't be the successor to because in our own way we are all unique. We just can't help but admit Serena's greatness and thank her for all that she did for our spor."