"I wouldn't be here without her" - Naomi Osaka on Serena Williams

Sunday, 28 August 2022 at 21:30
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Naomi Osaka denied Serena Williams one grand slam trophy by beating her in the final but she credits the American for being a tennis player at all.
Osaka looked up to Williams growing up as a tennis fan and she credits the tennis legend for picking up the racquet in the first place. Ahead of her retirement at the US Open, Osaka spoke about Williams and how she changed the sport:
"I think that her legacy is really wide to the point where you can't even describe it in words. She changed the sport so much. She's introduced people that have never heard of tennis into the sport. And I think I'm a product of what she's done. I wouldn't be here without Serena, Venus, you know, her whole family."
Osaka continued by thanking her and struggling to explain how important to tennis she is:
"I'm, like, very thankful to her and I am always trying to figure out how to sum it into words but I honestly think that she is like the biggest force in the sport. And that's not like intentionally trying to, like, make (Roger) Federer or (Rafa) Nadal smaller. I just think like she's the biggest thing that will ever be in the sport."
And added:
"It's just really an honour just to watch her play and to see that she's giving us a chance to, like, watch her more because I remember seeing an interview that she did - I don't know what it was, an on-court thing - where she was like if she retires she'll never tell anyone. So, I was always really scared. I was 'Dang, I don't know when's the last time that she is going to play.' So just like see her announce it and let people appreciate her legacy is really cool."

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