Naomi Osaka was not the only player from her family competing at the Miami Open, as her sister Mari also played in the main draw. Osaka said something interesting about her beginnings in the sport with Mari. "I don’t really talk to that many people.
She’s the nicer one in this relationship, so it would mean a lot. Up until I was 15, she was 6-0-ing me, like ridiculous! I don’t know what happened - something finally clicked in my head – but for sure she was beating me.
In the win-loss category, she’s still up by a million," said the world no. 1. "I really enjoy having her around. Most of the time, we’re not playing the same tournaments, so it’s really enjoyable to have her here."
Naomi believes Mari could do better: "She’s made a few newbie mistakes. Yesterday, it rained all day, but she came here at 11 AM and her match was fourth on. I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ I have to talk to her about that."
Mari Osaka lost her first-round match to Whitney Osuigwe in straight sets 6-2, 6-4, on Thursday. Osaka is focused on going far: "Everyone knows Indian Wells and Miami are like two other Grand Slams, so there’s a big motivation for me.
I won Indian Wells last year and wasn’t able to defend it. I just want to do well here too. I grew up watching all these great players winning it, and I think I was at one of the finals one year. Going from a kid in the audience to winning the trophy would mean a lot."
Osaka finally recalled her straight-set win over Serena Williams 12 months ago in Miami: "That match was really big because it was the first time I was able to play her. I came straight off Indian Wells, and I was kind of tired.
No matter what, I wanted to play and see what would happen. I was able to win and from there, it felt like a dream at that moment."