World No.4 Naomi Osaka is still getting accustomed to her fame. Despite winning two Grand Slam titles, Osaka claims she still struggles to hold a conversation with tennis greats like Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Osaka’s first Grand Slam win came against Serena Williams in the 2018 US Open following which the latter threw an infamous tantrum upon defeat.
However, since then, the pair have crossed paths several times without a hitch. In the 2018 incident, Williams’ complaint was against the match umpire rather than her opponent. But the Japanese tennis ace said it still surprises her that the 23-time Grand Slam winner talks to her.
My dad watched my match from my box for the first time during a grand slam. I feel so happy 😁😁😁— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) January 20, 2020
Naomi Osaka said she says 'hi' to Serena Williams and when the star responds, she is at a loss of words. Naomi Osaka said she started playing tennis because Serena Williams inspired her. She recently called Williams her 'mom' in a hilarious tweet. Naomi Osaka also spoke of the time when she was seated next to Rafael Nadal, stating that it was a surreal moment.
Naomi Osaka confessed that she felt starstruck to be sat next to Nadal. Osaka claimed she feels equally nervous about striking a conversation with Roger Federer. Osaka is known for her shyness as her awkward hug with upcoming NextGen star Stefanos Tsitsipas in a recent 'Rally For Relief' charity doubles match, went viral on social media.
The defending champion Osaka commenced her campaign for the Australian Open with a win in the first round at the Rod Laver Arena against Marie Bouzkova on Monday.