Naomi Osaka shares a warm honor to her mother, Serena Williams, Sharapova

The Japanese revealed how her mother is the best female role model

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Naomi Osaka shares a warm honor to her mother, Serena Williams, Sharapova
© Kenta Harada / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Our models often include family figures, such as parents, siblings, grandparents. Or famous stars, from sports, from entertainment, those who work for social equality, those who fight against the toughest diseases, those who take sides against bloody wars.

Naomi Osaka encompasses all of this. In recent days she played in the World Group of the Billie Jean King Cup where, in addition to the performances on the court, she released interesting words about her best female models.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Kenta Harada / Stringer Getty Images Sport
 

The Japanese explained how she adores former stars like Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova or Li Na, but her best female role model remains her mother Tamaki, revealing that she now understands all the sacrifices made by her mother.

"Yeah, I mean, I love Serena Serena, Maria Sharapova, Li Na… So I can name a lot of them but, I think it's really cool because growing up, obviously, you have to have role models to believe that you can do something

My biggest female role model was my mother simply because I watched her a lot growing up and probably emulated her a couple of times. But I think now I'll have a daughter and I guess she'll realize all the sacrifices she had to make," she explained.

Osaka: "Devastated by the defeat in Miami"

After maternity leave and a long absence from the Tour, Naomi Osaka is slowly trying to recover an adequate state of form to be able to compete at high levels. A path that can only be slow and progressive, but the Japanese tennis player has already given good signs in her first appearances of the season.

The Japanese, who started the season without ranking, has a record of 7 wins and 6 defeats this year.

Her best result was the quarterfinal reached at the Qatar Open. Now comes the time to move to European clay, a surface not entirely congenial for the Japanese tennis player, but an opportunity to rediscover the form and confidence of her best times.

The latest positive indications arrived at the ATP Master 1000 in Miami, a tournament in which the former WTA No.1 had reached the final in 2022.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Kenta Harada / Stringer Getty Images Sport
 

Two good victories against Elisabetta Cocciaretto and especially against the number 15 seed Elina Svitolina, before the second defeat of the season against the French Caroline Garcia in the third round. In a recent post on her social channels, the Japanese tennis player expressed her disappointment at the elimination, commenting on her path and analyzing the positive sides of the US campaign.

the 26-year-old 4-time Slam champion wrote a message of thanks for the warmth shown to her by the American public.

“I'm honestly really devastated to have lost, but extremely grateful and appreciative of the support, it was so fun to play in an atmosphere like this again. I can't wait to see how far I can go and where life will take me. I think my second match was definitely the best I've played so far and I hope to be able to play many more matches like that in the future. Now I'm playing on clay and it's different but fun.
Let's see what happens,"
she wrote.

During the Miami Open, Naomi also spoke about her tennis level, analyzing: "When I started again in Australia my main goal was to have fun.
I kind of focused on winning matches, which I can't do because I'm very competitive. I wouldn't say I had to force myself to think about fun again, but I had to be aware of it.

Now it's starting to become natural again. I looked at the videos of myself in those years and also all the games I played here last time, and I don't feel like I'm too far from that level this season.

In the matches I watched I felt more comfortable because I didn't have such a long break. I don't think I had the panic I have now, but that will come in time. I feel a lot better now knowing that my shots weren't that much better back then."

A confidence that also comes from the serenity that comes off the court: "I use my time a lot more. Wim Fissette also told me that I'm much more professional now, which is positive. Every time I see people winning tournaments I feel a strong need to be at their level. I know I have to take it one step at a time and I feel like the more matches I win, the more comfortable I will be."

Naomi Osaka Serena Williams
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