Serena said she was proud of me – Osaka

By Sports Desk September 13, 2018

Naomi Osaka revealed Serena Williams told her she was proud of her after she claimed the US Open title.

Osaka, 20, became the first Japanese player to win a grand slam with her 6-2 6-4 win over her idol Williams in the final on Saturday.

However, her success was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding Williams, who was handed three code violations by Carlos Ramos before accusing the umpire of sexism.

The Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd booed during the trophy presentation, dampening Osaka's moment.

Speaking on Wednesday, Osaka said she was unsure just why the crowd were booing at the time, but Williams had some kind words for the champion.

"She said, like, she was proud of me and that I should know that the crowd wasn't booing at me," Osaka told The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "So I was really happy that she said that.

"At the time, I did kind of think they were booing at me 'cause I couldn't tell what was going on because it was just so loud in there, so it was a little bit stressful."

As Williams fell apart, Osaka showed maturity by staying cool to close out her first maiden title.

Osaka said she was taught as a youngster to ignore the other side of the court.

"You're told to just turn around and try to focus so I tried to do that," she said. "But in my mind, I really wanted to know what was going on."

 

Related items

  • Three-time champion Tsonga out in Marseille Three-time champion Tsonga out in Marseille

    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's improved start to 2019 hit a stumbling block on Tuesday as the three-time champion bowed out of the Open 13 Marseille.

    No player has won the ATP Tour event more times than Tsonga, who was triumphant in 2009, 2013 and 2017, matching the tallies of Marc Rosset and Thomas Enqvist.

    But despite having ended a long wait for a triumph on the Tour at the Open Sud de France earlier this month, Tsonga could not extend a bid for a fourth Marseille victory beyond his opening match.

    The Frenchman won the opening set against Andrey Rublev but then went down 2-6 6-4 6-2.

    Tsonga was not the only home hopeful to see his challenge cut short, with Jeremy Chardy losing a pair of tie-breaks in vastly contrasting fashion as Matteo Berrettini emerged a 7-6 (14-12) 7-6 (7-0) winner.

    Meanwhile, a bizarre development saw Constant Lestienne beaten by a man he had eliminated in qualifying.

    Lestienne defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky on Monday, but the Ukrainian returned to the competition as a lucky loser and knocked the Frenchman out in three sets 24 hours later.

    Benoit Paire came through in straight sets against Simone Bolelli, though, while fifth seed Fernando Verdasco and Peter Gojowczyk also won.

  • Svitolina advances but Osaka is stunned in Dubai Svitolina advances but Osaka is stunned in Dubai

    Defending champion Elina Svitolina was among those to progress at the Dubai Tennis Championships as Naomi Osaka was the only truly high-profile name to crash out on Tuesday.

    Osaka, who announced last week she had split from coach Sascha Bajin, was stunned by Kristina Mladenovic in her first match as world number one, losing in straight sets in just over an hour after a shoddy display.

    But the majority of the other seeds in the draw progressed, including Svitolina and Simona Halep, who breezed past Eugenie Bouchard.

    Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber both battled back from early deficits, while Karolina Pliskova beat Dominika Cibulkova, with Garbine Muguruza easing to victory over Zheng Saisai. Aryna Sabalenka thrashed Ivana Jorovic.

    Some seeds did join Osaka in exiting, though, with Kiki Bertens departing after defeat in a third-set tie-break to Viktoria Kuzmova, while Caroline Garcia went down to Jennifer Brady in straight sets.

    MOTIVATED BY HISTORY

    Svitolina has triumphed in Dubai in the last two years, matching the back-to-back achievements of Justine Henin (twice) and Venus Williams, and could become the first woman to win three in a row.

    But the Ukrainian did not have it all her own way for a time on Tuesday, trailing to an early Ons Jabeur break before rallying and seeing her opponent bow out with injury.

    And Svitolina is very aware of the potential of a groundbreaking achievement, later revealing that she was motivated to recover due to that very opportunity.

    "It's definitely a big motivation for me," she said. "When I was 0-2 down, I told myself, 'Come on, you are here to make history in this tournament'."

     

    OSAKA NOT WORRIED

    Osaka looked a shadow of her usual self as she was beaten in her first match since the Australian Open.

    The top seed never got going and, despite breaking several times in the second set, found herself unable to hold serve as Mladenovic claimed a famous victory.

    Rising star Osaka does not believe the defeat provides cause for concern, though, explaining: "The Australian Open was not even a month ago. This was just one match.

    "I feel like, even if I don't win any matches for the rest of the year, I wouldn't say I'm concerned. I think I'm pretty young. I still feel like I have a lot to learn."

    STARS WORKED HARD

    Kvitova and Kerber might have avoided the embarrassment of Osaka's defeat, but they were far from comfortable in their own victories.

    Second seed Kvitova lost the opening set to Katerina Siniakova before staging a recovery to win 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-4.

    Meanwhile, Kerber was two breaks down to Dalila Jakupovic in the first set, trailing 5-1 and saving two set points. A stunning response set up a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 success.

  • Flipkens withdraws as Larsson is beaten in Budapest Flipkens withdraws as Larsson is beaten in Budapest

    Second seed Kirsten Flipkens was forced to withdraw from the Hungarian Ladies Open ahead of her opening match in Budapest on Tuesday.

    The 2018 doubles finalist had been set to begin her campaign against Evgeniya Rodina but, having suffered with illness last week, she pulled out earlier in the day.

    Rodina instead faced lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova and came through a topsy-turvy contest 6-0 4-6 6-2.

    Johanna Larsson - Flipkens' doubles partner at this tournament - was the only other seed on the slate for Tuesday, but she was upset in a 6-1 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Kateryna Kozlova.

    Elsewhere, home hopeful Anna Bondar let a one-set lead slip to lose in three to Sorana Cirstea in the day's late match.

    There were also wins for Anna Blinkova, against Natalia Vikhlyantseva in three sets, and Iga Swiatek, who saw off Olga Danilovic 6-3 6-0. Elsewhere, Tereza Smitkova defeated Ysaline Bonaventure.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.