Serena Williams ‘is the BIGGEST force’ in tennis, claims Naomi Osaka as four-time Grand Slam winner pays tribute ahead of star’s US Open swansong, admitting she ‘wouldn’t be here without her and her family’
- Naomi Osaka has hailed Serena Williams’ impact upon her life and tennis career
- Prior to Monday’s US Open, Osaka called Williams ‘the biggest force in the sport’
- The Japanese will be aiming for her fifth Grand Slam and third US Open title
- Osaka and Williams met in the 2018 final with the former winning in straight sets
Naomi Osaka has credited Serena Williams with her metamorphosis into a tennis player and four-time Grand Slam winner.
The Japanese, who moved to the United States aged three, tried her best to convey the impact Williams has had on her life.
‘I think that her legacy is really wide to the point where you can’t even describe it in words,’ Osaka said Sunday in a pre-US Open press conference.
Serena Williams is an idol to those who have followed her footsteps including Naomi Osaka
‘She changed the sport so much. She’s introduced people that have never heard of tennis into the sport.
‘And I think I’m a product of what she’s done. I wouldn’t be here without Serena, Venus, you know, her whole family.’
‘I’m, like, very thankful to her and I am always trying to figure out how to sum it into words but I honestly think that she is like the biggest force in the sport.’
The 24-year-old Osaka defeated Williams in the 2018 US Open final in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4
While mentioning some of the titans of the tennis world, Osaka interestingly omitted Serbian 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic.
‘And that’s not like intentionally trying to, like, make Federer or Nadal smaller. I just think like she’s the biggest thing that will ever be in the sport.
‘It’s just really an honor just to watch her play and to see that she’s giving us a chance to, like, watch her more because I remember seeing an interview that she did, I don’t know what it was, an on-court thing, where she was like if she retires she’ll never tell anyone.
Williams will play doubles at her final tournament with sister, Venus, following wildcard entry
‘So, I was always really scared. I was “Dang, I don’t know when’s the last time that she is going to play.”
‘So just like see her announce it and let people appreciate her legacy is really cool.’
Osaka and Williams have faced off four times with the 24-year-old winning the 2018 US Open final 6-2, 6-4.
Williams may play in her final singles match Monday night when she clashes with Montenegrin Danka Kovinic in the opening round of the US Open.
The Compton native is a sporting icon & the second most decorated female player of all time
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