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via Imago

via Imago

Naomi Osaka and Iga Swiatek share a very close bond on the Tour. Their friendship started way back in 2020 when the Polish tennis star was still a teenager and was yet to win a slam. They have quite a few things in common; for example, both are multiple Grand Slam title holders, and they have also reached the top spot in the women’s singles ranking. Now, both of them have got off to a winning start in Wimbledon as well, but do you know they share a common love for the Russian tennis legend Maria Sharapova as well?

After clinching her first win in Wimbledon since 2018, Osaka sat down with a big smile for the post-match presser. During the conference, the Japanese star was asked to name three people from the tennis world whom she would like to invite for dinner. Thinking hard about her choices, Osaka said, “Um…Andre Agassi, Li Na. Can I invite myself?” Then she went on to ask the reporter if the dinner would be a “friendly gathering” or something more like a formal thing. The journalist then told her that it could be anything she liked.

After hearing this, she wasted no time adding Russian tennis beauty Maria Sharapova to the list of invitees, but where is her childhood idol, Serena Williams? Surprise, Surprise!!! Even the current world number one, Iga Swiatek, who recently extended her winning streak to 20 matches, was asked the same question. Swiatek said, “For sure, Steffi Graf. I’d love to talk to her and meet her and share some experiences. Also, I think Maria Sharapova.

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Poll of the day

Who do you think is the most influential female tennis player of all time?

Maria Sharapova

Serena Williams

Naomi Osaka

Iga Swiatek

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She further said, “We never really talked because she retired when I was still going up. And I feel like she made some good decisions off-court in terms of her business. And she handled everything well so you can kind of take examples from her. And also Serena.However, their fascination with the Russian tennis legend isn’t a new thing!

Do you know Maria Sharapova is Naomi Osaka’s ‘fashion crush’?

A couple of months ago, Naomi Osaka’s Hana Kuma and WTA’s official Instagram account shared her Serving Looks episode featuring Maria Sharapova’s iconic outfit. While showcasing Sharapova’s French Open 2007 dress, the Japanese tennis star said, “This dress is not my dress. It’s Maria Sharapova’s dress. When I was younger I thought this was the prettiest dress that Nike has ever made. I just remember, like, thinking maybe one day I’ll be sponsored by Nike if I was good enough, so we surpassed that goal.

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Osaka is a Serena Williams fan and her fans were a bit surprised at that time as well with her pick! However, later on, she revealed she admires both of them. Yeah, I mean, I love Serena, Sharapova, Li Na… Then I can name a lot but, I think it’s really cool because growing up, obviously, you have to have role models to believe that you can do something, said Osaka.

Even Iga Swiatek has expressed her admiration for Maria Sharapova while participating in a popular trend of building a perfect tennis player by attributing a tennis skill to a player. In that fun game, she was seen hailing Maria Sharapova’s incredible “mentality.” Share your thoughts on Sharapova’s ever-green popularity in the tennis world.