‘Serena Williams played amazing,’ admits Naomi Osaka after veteran gets US Open revenge
Serena Williams finally registered her maiden victory over Naomi Osaka as the pair met for the first time since their infamous US Open final last year.
Osaka went into their Rogers Cup match with a perfect record against her “tennis mom” and idol Williams, but was unable to preserve that record with the 37-year-old coming our on top 6-3, 6-4.
However, Osaka was happy – on this occasion anyway – to take the loss on the chin, admitting that Williams was the better player on the night.
“I honestly don’t really think there was ups and downs,” Osaka said.
“I think in the first set we were kind of just serving it out, and then I was the one that — I don’t even think I dipped.
“I just think that I gave her too many second serve looks, and she just did what she does.
“But, yeah, I’m not really mad at this. I think I played pretty well. And she just played amazing, which that’s what she does.”
“I know that sounds kind of weird, but if there’s anyone in the world that I would want to lose to – of course I would never want to lose – but I don’t mind losing to her because I learned a lot.
“This is someone that I kind of modeled my game after when I was little. So this is, like, such a big learning experience for me.”
That was an assessment that Williams shared, admitting she had studied the Japanese star to try to figure out a way to get the best of her.
She takes out Osaka, 6-3, 6-4 💪 pic.twitter.com/0CF017UkKP
— WTA (@WTA) August 10, 2019
“It was just a better match for me today,” Serena acknowledged in her on-court interview.
“We haven’t played since New York, which was a really good match for her.
“I just wanted to come out and try to win a set this time – she’s beaten me twice. I just wanted to do the best I could today.”
“I knew her game a little bit more, so that’s a little easier, and, you know, I’m just overall a little bit better.
“I watch her a lot. I knew what I needed to do to hopefully try to get a win today, and it helped a little bit.”
One comfort for Osaka is that she will return to the top of the world rankings next week.
Williams will face qualifier Marie Bouzkova in the semi-final after Simona Halep retiring with a leg injury during their match. It looks more precautionary than anything, though, and it’s unlikely to endanger the Wimbledon champion’s US Open hopes.
Youngsters Bianca Andreescu and Sofia Kenin will contest the other semi-final.
Alexander Zverev has no qualms about playing ATP Finals in London despite surge in coronavirus cases
Zverev happy with protocols in place for ATP Finals.
T365 Recall: David Nalbandian’s 2007 heroics against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
When David Nalbandian got the better of the Big Three…
‘Just to be happy, that’s the goal. I’m not a results-based guy,’ says Nick Kyrgios as he eyes 2021 return
‘I was almost crying out for a pause,’ says Kyrgios.
Coco Gauff overcomes nightmare start as she adapts to ‘awkward’ situation to win Ostrava opener
Coco Gauff adapts to win Ostrava opener.
Dan Evans returns to winning ways before announcing forthcoming split with coach
Evans and Mark Hilton will part ways later this year.
Rafael Nadal set to take part in Paris Masters next month
The world No 2 is also now likely to take his place at the ATP Finals in London.
French Open champion Rafael Nadal hits practice courts again as he confirms his next tournament
Rafael Nadal will next play at…
‘My long-term goal and dream is to win all four Grand Slams,’ says French Open champion Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek hoping for more Grand Slam glory.
Tennis Today: Bad news for Roger Federer over renaming of stadium while Maria Sharapova buys a ranch
Tennis Today features Federer, Sharapova and Barty.
Andy Murray on being ‘pretty laid back’, being intimidated by Marat Safin, being called a ‘f****** loser’
A fun interview with Andy Murray.