WATCH: Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka Put Their Rivalry Aside, Share Lighthearted Moment at Adelaide Exhibition

Published 01/29/2021, 1:07 AM EST
Tennis – A Day at the Drive Exhibition – Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, Australia – Japan’s Naomi Osaka with Serena Williams of the U.S. at A Day at The Drive REUTERS/Morgan Sette


Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka played out a fun match at the Adelaide Exhibition event ‘A Day at the Drive’ being held prior to the Australian Open 2021. Both the players were in a jolly mood. Serena was victorious in the end, winning in three sets. But during the match, both the players got together during the service breaks and had chats and laughs.

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Naomi Osaka with Serena Williams of the U.S. before their match at A Day at The Drive. REUTERS/Morgan Sette.

Both the players had multiple conversations, and often, it ended in laughter. Even though both the players played their first tennis match in four months, they were just having fun. This might be associated with the fact that they played their first match with a houseful crowd in over a year.

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Who won the match between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka?

One could say that the match between Osaka and Serena was a comic of errors. In the first set, Osaka played like a rookie and missed a lot of sitters. Obviously, this isn’t an indication of poor form from the Japanese as it was an exhibition and she was having fun. Nevertheless, Serena won the set 6-2.

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In the second set, we saw Osaka try out her match routine. The first set didn’t have her signature cross-court forehand winners. But in the second set, Osaka was fast and comfortable. Here Serena took a breather and was enjoying the moment rather than playing proper tennis. In the end, Osaka won the second set 6-2.

The third set was a 10 point tiebreaker. And here as well, both the players were playing cautiously with the occasional aggression. In the end, Serena won it 10-7. And then, after the match, the duo again had a laugh near the net.

Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts during her match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka at A Day at The Drive. REUTERS/Morgan Sette.

Overall, it was a fun match. Obviously, the players didn’t want to exert themselves too much as they were coming from a long pre-season and the 14-day quarantine. But the major highlight of the event till now has been players coming out of lengthy breaks and playing in front of a proper crowd before the Aus Open 2021 begins on February 8.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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