Naomi Osaka beat her tennis idol Serena Williams on Saturday in a much talked about U.S. Open match.
The 20-year old defeated Williams 6-2, 6-4, becoming the first Japanese person to ever win a Grand Slam title, per Yahoo Sports.
Osaka grew up admiring Williams and her father, Leonard, studied how Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard, trained his daughters and applied that training to Osaka.
“It was always my dream to play Serena in the U.S. Open finals, so I’m really glad I was able to do that,” an emotional Osaka said on Saturday.
So there’s been a lot going on but I just want to say, I was grateful to have the opportunity to play on that stage yesterday. Thank you ❤️ pic.twitter.com/utiEKJF8NN
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) September 9, 2018
Osaka was born in Japan and plays for the country, but she also has roots in the U.S.
She started playing tennis after she moved to New York when she was three years old. Her mother is Japanese and her father is Haitian, and she lived with her Haitian grandparents when she moved to the U.S.
She moved to Florida to continue her tennis training when she was eight, according to Yahoo Sports.
Her U.S. Open victory placed Osaka as the seventh in the world on the Women’s Tennis Association ranking on Monday.
What's Your Reaction?
Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.