Naomi Osaka: "If it weren't for Serena Williams, I wouldn't be here now"

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Naomi Osaka: "If it weren't for Serena Williams, I wouldn't be here now"

Japanese Naomi Osaka first made a name for herself on the world tennis stage in March 2018, when she beat Daria Kasatkina to win her first career title at Indian Wells. In fact, Naomi had already reached two finals before: in Hua Hin in 2015 and in Tokyo in 2016, defeated by Jaroslava Shvedova and Caroline Wozniacki respectively.

A few months after her triumph in Indian Wells, Osaka became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam tournament at the US Open, where she surprised home crowd player Serena Williams in two sets, in the final. Thanks to that success, Osaka broke the Top-10 for the first time and ended the season at number 5 in the world a few weeks later.

In 2019 she immediately repeated at the Australian Open, beating Petra Kvitova in the final and conquering the top of the WTA ranking. She also raised the Osaka and Beijing trophies at the end of the year. In this 2020 so damaged by the Coronavirus pandemic, Naomi is back to win once again in New York, this time by beating Belarusian Victoria Azarenka by a comeback.

Osaka goes back to talking about Serena

The Japanese tennis player has already repeatedly stressed the importance of a figure like Serena Williams for her tennis career: on the other hand, her father Leonard Francois decided to teach his two girls to play tennis after seeing the Williams sisters on television in action at Roland Garros 1999.

"I have to say that if Serena had never been there, I probably wouldn't be here now. I also believe that many other players can say the same thing," confessed Osaka, as reported by EssentiallySports. This year, the Japanese also reached the final in Cincinnati, but decided to retire before taking the field against Azarenka.

At the Roland Garros in Paris he preferred not to take part, due to an injury and the excessive temporal proximity to the recently concluded Us Open. The 2020 WTA Finals could not be staged, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Osaka, with Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Ashleigh Barty, Iga Swiatek, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and all the others greatests tennis stars on the planet will come back for the upcoming Australian Open 2021, which will be held in Melbounre from 8 February: it will be the most awaited sports event of the first part of the new season.

Today it came out the schedule for the first events of the new tennis season, which some surprises which all were awaiting for. It will be a very spectacualr season, and all of us hope without the problems of the last one, with some presence of the crowd in the courts across the world.