“In a Class of Her Own”: Tennis Legend Believes Naomi Osaka Can Soon Achieve the Status of Serena Williams

Published 03/14/2021, 6:41 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka with Serena Williams of the U.S. after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Naomi Osaka has impressed almost everyone with her exceptional performance at the Australian Open 2021. The Japanese star is just 23 years old and has already won four Grand Slam titles. There are speculations that if she continues to play like this, she might move ahead at a speed of winning two to three Grand Slams a year.

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In a recent interview, tennis legend Barbara Rittner answered a tricky and intriguing question. She expressed her opinions on whether Naomi Osaka could achieve the status that Serena Williams has in tennis, in the future.

“Naomi Osaka is currently in a class of her own with trainer Wim Fissette at her side on hard court. Nevertheless, she had to fend off match points against Muguruza. It could have been over for them early. It wasn’t a walk in the park,” said Rittner in the interview. (Translated by Google Translate)

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Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates with the trophy after winning her final match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Rittner further claimed that Osaka is already a better version of Williams at the moment. However, she believes that time will be able to answer that question more precisely.

“The form of the day always plays a role here. As of today, it’s a better version of Serena Williams. Time will tell if she can show it for years,” added the DTB boss.

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Barbara Rittner feels Naomi Osaka needs to be consistent to reach Serena Williams’ level

Rittner didn’t rule out the possibility that Osaka might bid goodbye to the sport after winning five Grand Slam titles. She highlighted that under such circumstances, she would not be able to reach anywhere near Williams or the ‘Big Three’.

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her semi-final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina

“These players (Big Three) have lived extremely focused on their sport for almost two decades. That an Osaka will say in a few years: ‘That’s it for me. Five Grand Slam titles are enough for me. Now I take care of other things in life,’ I wouldn’t rule out,” concluded the former German player.

Just like experts, fans too have great expectations from Osaka. She is playing amazingly well and will hope to win many more titles this season. Will the Japanese star be able to finish the 2021 tennis season as the No.1 player?

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Anshul Singh

775 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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