What a week for Naomi Osaka, who won her first WTA title and beat her childhood idol Serena Williams Forget winning, Osaka was all about that post-match handshake | African-American News and Black History

BNP Paribas Open, Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, Tennis, Women's Tennis, Women's Tennis Association -

What a week for Naomi Osaka, who won her first WTA title and beat her childhood idol Serena Williams Forget winning, Osaka was all about that post-match handshake

BNP Paribas Open, Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, Tennis, Women's Tennis, Women's Tennis Association -

What a week for Naomi Osaka, who won her first WTA title and beat her childhood idol Serena Williams Forget winning, Osaka was all about that post-match handshake

Ever since Naomi Osaka celebrated her 20th birthday in October, the Afro-Japanese youngblood has done no worse than quarterfinals and fourth-round exits.

On March 18, Osaka defeated Daria Kasatkina in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, to win her first WTA title. Osaka played nearly perfect tennis, dropping only one set in eight matches and beating three players who have been WTA No. 1s (Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep) and a No. 2 (Agnieszka Radwanska) en route to the title.

Hours after her first WTA win, Osaka’s coach informed her that she got paired up with Serena Williams, her childhood idol, in the first round of the Miami Open. Osaka would end up winning the match fairly easily, 6-3, 6-2. While winning was certainly a high point, it was the post-match handshake that really resonated with Osaka.

“This is going to be really bad,” Osaka cautioned. “Sometimes when I’m in a really important position, when I’m serving, I’m like, ‘What would Serena [Williams] do?’ ”

Osaka, ranked 44th in the world heading into Indian Wells, has risen to No. 22.


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