Naomi Osaka has waltzed her way into the stardom and limelight of tennis, after she eased past Serena Williams in the finals of the US open earlier this year. Naomi Osaka has a huge fan following back in her country, and she says that it is a great opportunity for her to do something for her country. “I mean, it was definitely something (smiling). Like, everyone is really, really excited. I felt like I just wanted to do well, give them something to cheer about”, she says.
Osaka reached the finals in Tokyo last week, only to be defeated in straight sets by Karolina Pliskova. “I’m just really happy I made it to the finals. Of course, I couldn’t win, but she played super amazing and she deserved to win”, said Osaka. “For me, right after the US Open I played Tokyo. In a way I’m sort of grateful that I played it because I could go straight into, like, tournament mode. Of course, I got sick after that. I had to rest”,
Osaka was also asked if she has a message for the younger generation, to which she hilariously replied- “How young are we talking about?”. On a serious note though the Japanese says she is grateful to be in a position to inspire people. “I’m really grateful if they do look up to me, but I know that for me, I’ve been really inspired by a lot of people growing up to play tennis. If I even have that chance to be a role model to other people, I’m definitely really grateful”, said Naomi Osaka.
She also revealed that she takes inspiration from a lot of players and looks up to them for support. “Yeah, for me, I love Serena, Federer and Li Na“, says Osaka. ”I think just the fact that she was like the first Asian Grand Slam champion, like from China and stuff. For me to be the first Japanese now, I think it’s really cool people can aspire.”