“People Are Very Interested in Serena”: Naomi Osaka Silences Serena Williams Critics

Published 11/18/2021, 5:00 AM EST
Naomi Osaka of Japan hugs Serena Williams of the United States after winning the Women’s Singles finals match on Day Thirteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has been a role model for generations of women tennis players. Even four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka followed in her footsteps to make it to the global stage. The duo even played one of the most iconic Slam finals at the US Open in 2018. However, the world remembers their match as one of the most controversial matches in tennis history. And so, Osaka decided to open up on the same.

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In a recent interview, the 24-year-old Japanese star reflected on the heat Serena Williams had received from critics after their US Open 2018 final. “I can’t say that if we were both male players, the outcome would have been the same way,” Naomi Osaka emphasized.

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Naomi Osaka on criticism Serena Williams received after the US Open 2018 final

Notably, it was Osaka‘s maiden Grand Slam title, defeating her idol Williams in the US Open 2018 final. But instead of bursting into tears of joy, the Japanese star cried because she felt sad about how the match had ended.

What happened was Williams called the chair umpire a “thief” for stealing a point. For this, she received a third code violation after on-court coaching and racquet abuse and received a game penalty. That is how Osaka won her first major title in New York.

Naomi Osaka of Japan cries after winning the Women’s Singles finals match alongside runner up Serena Williams of the United States on Day Thirteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Accordingly, the reigning Australian Open champion highlighted the inequality between men and women tennis players.

“There’s actually been male players that have done far worse, like literally last year and this year, and they don’t get news reports at all. So, I’m not sure if it’s because Serena is Serena, or [if] people just wanted to write negative things,” Osaka told WBB.

Furthermore, Osaka acknowledged the impact Williams has on the tennis world. Thus, she felt unfortunate that the world saw their final in a different light.

“I can say that people are very interested in Serena, and whatever she does is going to get attention. And it was just unfortunate that it had to be that moment that caught a lot of people’s interest,” Osaka concluded.

When will Osaka return to the WTA Tour?

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Indeed, the 2021 season did not see much of Osaka as she completed the year with an 18-6 win-loss record. Moreover, she even went on a tennis break following her US Open loss this year.

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

But Naomi Osaka is back on the court and will most likely compete at the Australian Open next year. In addition, tennis queen Serena Williams has already confirmed she will play Happy Slam 2022.

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Are you hoping to see Osaka and Williams battle again next year?

Watch this story: Tiger Woods vs Serena Williams Net Worth Comparison

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Purav Joshi

1357 articles

Purav Joshi is a Senior Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 1000 tennis articles.

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