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“Makes Me Want To Cry” – Naomi Osaka Gets Emotional When Asked About Idol Serena Williams Retirement

Published 08/16/2022, 11:13 AM EDT

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Naomi Osaka has been one of the top tennis players for the past few years. She has claimed four Grand Slam titles to date and has beaten some top players on her way to glory at a nascent stage in her career.

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However, since last year’s French Open, with injuries, deteriorating mental health, and loss of form, she hasn’t had a great time on the tour. In a recent interview, she recalled the time she faced the 23-time Grand Slam Champion, Serena Williams.


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Naomi Osaka, on admiring Serena’s attitude

Osaka is currently preparing for the Western and Southern Open at Cincinnati. During the interview, Osaka mentioned Serena Williams. She said, “Honestly for me, she’s probably the nicest person I’ve ever met in my life when like everything that’s happened to me throughout my career. She always sends me really nice messages and sometimes it makes me want to cry how nice she is.”

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“She’s like a really beautiful soul and for me, I know when we both play we’re really competitive so I think we’re not going to think about that while we’re playing the match, but yeah honestly the nicest human ever,” Osaka added while talking about Williams’ retirement.


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Serena Williams will play the last few matches of her career

The youngest member of the Williams family has been one of the most dominant players in tennis for over two decades. She is an inspiration to many budding athletes and fans, both inside and outside the tennis world. When Serena recently announced her decision to retire from tennis, it took everyone by surprise.


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Even for Osaka, one of the biggest moments of her career came at the 2018 US Open, where she defeated Serena Williams and won her maiden Grand Slam title. Before competing at the US Open this year, the Western and Southern Open will be Williams’ final Masters tournament.

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At Cincinnati, Osaka will face China’s Shuai Zhang in the first round of the tournament. It will be interesting to watch the Japanese star trying to regain her form before the last Grand Slam event of the season. Shuai Zhang and Osaka have played each other five times in the past.


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Watch this Story – Serena Williams painful message on how gender forced her into retirement. 

To date, Osaka has won three of the matches against her Chinese opponent. Her fans are keen to see the former World Number 1 back in form. However, considering her patchy form of late, it will surely be an interesting match-up. Who do you think will progress to the next round in Cincinnati?

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Written by:

Pratishtha Prakash


One take at a time

Pratishtha Prakash is a Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Journalism from MIT ADT University, Pune. Being a sports enthusiast, she has a keen interest in tennis, cricket and esports.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas