“I Just Started Crying” – Naomi Osaka Felt Devastated as She Predicted Serena Williams’ Retirement Before US Open 2022

Published 08/28/2022, 7:10 AM EDT

American tennis legend Serena Williams is all set to retire after the US Open 2022. While her records have set a benchmark for the future generations, the way she overcame challenges, both on and off the court, has inspired many budding athletes to play the sport. Naomi Osaka is one such athlete. The 24-year-old is a huge fan of Serena Williams and has credited the 23-time Grand Slam champion as her inspiration on many occasions.

When the news of Serena’s retirement broke, it was an emotional moment for the Japanese star. However, she already had an idea of what was coming.


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Osaka sensed it before Serena’s announcement

Speaking about Serena’s retirement, the 24-year-old said that she had a feeling that it was going to happen. “I watched her first match in Toronto before she announced it. For some reason, I just started crying because I felt it.” Further, Osaka added, “I kind of felt like she was gearing up for her last U.S. swing. I just started crying. Then she announced it the day later. I’m like, Oh, my God, this is what devastation must feel like.”

Serena will start her US Open campaign on Tuesday. She will face Danka Kovinić in the first round. Osaka, on the other hand, will be hoping to get something out of her disappointing 2022 season in Flushing Meadows. She will start her US Open campaign against the American player, Danielle Collins.


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The rivalry between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka


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It is a well-known fact in the tennis world that Osaka admires Serena. However, when she faced her on the opposite side of the court, in the biggest match of her career, the Japanese star defeated Serena in the 2018 US Open final.

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

Before that controversial match, Osaka played against her idol for the first time in the 2018 Miami Open. The 4-time Grand Slam champion started brilliantly and took the first match against Serena.


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In their next match, the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup, Serena won against Osaka. The two last played each other in the 2021 Australian Open, where the current world no.44 won, en route to her fourth Grand Slam title. In the recent past, both Serena and Osaka have struggled on the tour. While Serena will look to retire on a high, the Japanese star will be eager to regain her form in the tournament.



Gaurav Verma

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Gaurav Verma is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. He has post graduate diploma in management from IILM Graduate School of Management and a BBA degree from Bangalore University. He has 1-year of experience in the banking sector.

Edited By: Tony Thomas