Naomi Osaka Settles the Debate, Calls Serena Williams the Face of Women’s Tennis

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January 31, 2021 10:45 am

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has revealed that she doesn’t see herself as the face of women’s tennis. The World No. 3 not only clinched her third Grand Slam title last season but was also named by Forbes as the top-earning female athlete in 2020.

Naomi Osaka feels Serena Williams is the undisputed queen of women’s tennis

Osaka’s earnings from prize money and endorsements last year helped her vault past 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and former Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova in terms of money made in a calendar year.

Despite big brands lining up to have her sign lucrative deals, Osaka feels she still has a long way to go before being called the “face” of women’s tennis. 

The reigning US Open champion told WTA Insider that the mantle is still with Serena, the one who inspired her father to put her into tennis. Osaka said she considers herself to be just one of “so many interesting new people” in the women’s game.

In a big shout-out for the 39-year-old American, Osaka said that no other player can stake claim to the title of being the face of women’s tennis as long as Serena is around.

Tennis – A Day at the Drive Exhibition – Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, Australia – January 29, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts during her match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka at A Day at The Drive REUTERS/Morgan Sette

“As long as Serena’s here, I think she is the face of women’s tennis,” the Japanese said.

Though known to be measured with words, Osaka has never shied away from expressing her admiration for the American veteran.

Serena Williams and Osaka were pictured exchanging smiles at the Adelaide exhibition event

In a recent interview with Vogue magazine, the Japanese said that Serena is the reason why she is in the game.

Even in her most recent Twitter post, Osaka shared two pictures with Serena; one of her first meeting with the American, and the other bring a recent picture, taken at ‘Day at the Drive’ event in Adelaide ahead of the Australian Open.

The two stars were pictured exchanging smiles between points during the exhibition tie in Adelaide and even caught up on the sidelines after the match.

Read More: Serena Williams Announces Good News Ahead of Australian Open 2021

However, setting the camaraderie apart, Serena and Osaka are two of the fiercest rivals in the women’s game and are tied at 2-2 in head-to-head battles.

Priyabrata Chowdhury

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports from New Delhi. He holds a Masters degree in Journalism and has been in this profession for close to 11 years now. He takes an avid interest in sports in general and tennis in particular and holds a special place for Roger Federer when it comes to tennis but doesn't let his bias filter into his work.

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