Naomi Osaka has become a role model for many young athletes especially in Japan being inspired by her success at such a young age. The 23-year old is already a 4-time Grand Slam winner having picked two titles each at the Australian Open (2019, 2021) and at the US Open (2018, 2020).
Naomi recently made an appearance on the HBO show The Shop – Uninterrupted and spoke about how Serena Williams was her role model growing up and how did she look up to the 23-time Grand Slam champion and what legacy would she like to end her career with.
“I always feel like, if there was a younger player that ever needed any advice from me, I would love to give it. If I wanna retire from tennis, I would want to people to remember me with how I acted towards people and how I interacted. For example, for Serena, her legacy is more than her being Serena.
“I started playing because of her. I’m sure there are so many other girls that started playing because of her so, she literally built champions. And passing it down is how the newer generation gets inspired,” said Naomi.
Naomi Osaka is on an indefinite leave from tennis since her 3rd round loss at the US Open
Naomi was the defending champion at the recently concluded 2021 US Open but lost to Canadian teenager and eventual runner-up Leylah Fernandez in 3-sets in the 3rd round. Namoi has had a rough year ever since her big revelation at the 2021 French Open where she revealed her mental health issues and has been withdrawing from major tournaments time and again.
“When I win I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal. I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match…I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while,” Naomi had said announcing her break from tennis.
While there is no official confirmation whether she has ended her season or not, it has been confirmed by both the players and tournament authorities of the 2021 Indian Wells Open that she won’t be playing at the tournament where she won her first WTA career title.