12.15.2020

Naomi Osaka still shy to Serena Williams, but admits if Serena was not there, she wouldn’t be here

"Naomi Osaka still ‘intimidated’ by Serena Williams, but admits ‘if Serena wasn’t there, then I wouldn’t be here’"

Naomi Osaka reveals that she still get shy when Serena Williams is close to her and also admits that if Serena was not there, then i would not be there.

According to Naomi she said she has never been scared to express her love for Serena as she said I love you during a post match interview during the 2018 US Open.

But long before that Osaka was a fan of Williams as her father Leonard Francois used Richard Williams’ blueprint for coaching his daughters Venus and Serena to success as he turned Naomi and her sister Mari into professionals.

While Naomi was been Asked about the impact that Serena, specifically, had on her during an interview with Vogue magazine, she replied: “I would say that if Serena wasn’t there, then I wouldn’t be here, and I think that a lot of players would say the same thing.

Of course, shortly after declaring her “love” for Williams in 2018, Osaka and the American were involved in the controversial US Open final that year.

The Japanese youngster admits she was intimidated before the match – and still is – but she is learning how to “block out” all emotions when stepping onto the court.

“There’s a lot of things she’s so much better at,” she told Vogue. “She’s more aggressive. She knows when to go for her shots. Sometimes she hits really big service returns, and I can’t do that at all. Honestly, I’m kind of scared of her. Not scared scared but—I’m intimidated, and I get very shy when she’s like 10 feet away from me.

“That really affected me at the US Open finals in 2018, but I had worked so hard for that moment, and I felt like if I were to be intimidated or show that I was scared of her, she would capitalise on that. When I’m stepping on the court, I have to treat her as a tennis player, not as Serena Williams. I just blocked out all my emotions and thought about playing against the ball, like every ball that came across the net was my opponent.”

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