In recent years, twists have overtaken the women’s tennis summit, but Naomi Osaka appears to be able to break the trend. By defeating Jennifer Brady in the final of the Australian Open on Saturday, the 23-year-old Japanese only won four Grand Slam titles and it looks like someone has outgrown the rest.
Winning the Grand Slam title is one thing, but staying at the top of the world isn’t a prize for many tennis players. Players like Sloane Stephens (2017 US Open winner) and Jelena Ostapenko (Roland Garros 2017) can have a say in it. Women have been changing pennies in Grand Slam tournaments for years and no one really dominates.
“Osaka has the traits and the personality to change that,” says former tennis player and commentator Kristi Bogart in a conversation with NU.nl. “Karolina Pliskova will only be able to win the Grand Slam tournament if the candidates are eliminated early. Osaka can defeat anyone with her strong service and heavy hammer blows.”
Raised in the US as the daughter of a Japanese mother and Haitian father, she appeared uniquely on the tennis circuit with her modesty and self-mockery. Osaka himself mentioned already The most rational Someone in tennis And he laughs every now and then at her hand in moments of press. For example, I once used the lead song from Pokémon (I want to be the best, no one has ever been) To indicate her tennis goals.
“Osaka is a different girl, but she certainly isn’t in a negative way,” says Bogart. She lives in a world of her own and is distinguished for her intense narration, whether on the track or in press conferences. Osaka shows a special blend of her culture in her personality. Like many Japanese, she is humble, but she also does everything in her power to take a fall, a little that American. “
Naomi Osaka always makes a humble and sober impression at press conferences.
Osaka’s Pugbal protest in Black Lives is important
After her US Open (2018) and Australian Open (2019) titles, Osaka became number one in the world, but that position gave her a lot of pressure. She was underperforming for several months, and she split from two coaches in one year and said she lost the pleasure of tennis. Osaka picked herself up and made her brilliant comeback with the US Open in 2020, a year in which she was not content to be impressed on the track.
The three-time Grand Slam winner has become a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement. After an accident involving black American Jacob Blake, who was shot at close range by cop multiple times during his arrest, she refused to take any action in the semi-finals of the WTA Championships in Cincinnati. Ultimately, the organization announced a one-day break.
At the US Open she won last year, Osaka wore various face masks bearing the names of black Americans killed by brutal police. Some relatives even thanked her in a video, to which Osaka responded humbly. “This is the least I can do.”
“Osaka has always looked like a silent gray mouse, but now it has broken a spear in many places,” says Bogart. “It also helps her on the field, because she attracts a large crowd of fans. She has a really bigger service factor than that of Serena Williams, for example.”
Naomi Osaka wore face masks at the US Open to name the black Americans killed by brutal police.
“You should continue to enjoy the game”
With rumors of impending farewell to 39-year-old Williams increasing, the big question is whether anyone can follow in the footsteps of the legendary American in the near future. With sixteen-year-old Koko Guof, among others, new talents are on the way, but for now all eyes are on Osaka.
“The big challenge for Osaka is that she has to continue to like the game,” says Bogert, who comments on the matches at the Australian Open. Eurosport. “She’s one of the highest paid female athletes in the world, so she doesn’t have to do it anymore for money. If Osaka keeps having fun in the sport, I’m really curious if she can get close to Williams.”
First of all, Osaka has to beat American Brady in the Australian Open final on Saturday (starting at 9:30 am KST). A minor challenge on paper, as Brady is the “only” 24th in the world and has never participated in a Grand Slam Final.
“Brady will be nervous, but in the semi-final against Carolina Moshova, she showed her mental strength. Many players succumb to pressure when they miss several match points and then face stoppages, but she doesn’t. That doesn’t mean Osaka said Bogert, of course. My favorite is.” .