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Naomi Osaka: “I’m not a Serena Williams fan… I’m just a tennis player”…PHOTOS

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Naomi Osaka beats Serena Williams

Naomi Osaka almost felt like she had to apologize to Serena Williams for beating her in the US Open final. ‘Because I know that, like, she really wanted to have the 24th Grand Slam, right?’ Osaka told reporters in her post-match press conference.

 

‘Everyone knows this. It’s on the commercials, it’s everywhere. Like, when I step onto the court, I feel like a different person, right? Listen, I’m not a Serena fan. I’m just a tennis player playing another tennis player.

Serena Williams tears after losing to

But then when I hugged her at the net (tearing up). Anyway, when I hugged her at the net, I felt like a little kid again.’ Osaka earned $3.8 million with US Open title.

How will she spend them? ‘I’m not really the type that spends money on myself.

For me, as long as my family’s happy, I’m happy. When I see my sister, because she’s going to Tokyo, too, I think for me that’s the biggest gift.’

Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams tennis

When asked if Serena’s actions on the court had changed Osaka’s perception towards her idol, Osaka said, ‘The thing is, like, I don’t know what happened on the court.

So for me, I’m always going to remember the Serena that I love. It doesn’t change anything for me. She was really nice to me, like, at the net and on the podium. I don’t really see what would change.’

Naomi Osaka

Meanwhile, Williams gave the crowd inside the Rod Laver Arena a long wave goodbye with her hand on her heart, prompting questions about whether she would be coming back.

In her post-match press conference, the 39-year-old responded: “I don’t know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone. So…”

She then made an abrupt and emotional departure from the room after breaking down in tears.

“It was a big error day for me today,” she told reporters.

Asked if it was just a bad day at the office, Williams said: “I don’t know. I’m done,” before leaving the room in tears.

Serena Williams goodbye

She later took to social media to convey a message to her Australian fans, which said: “Melbourne and my Australian fans.

Today was not ideal outcome or performance but it happens. I am so honored to be able to play in front of you all.

Your support your cheers, I only wish I could have done better for you today. I am forever in debt and grateful to each and everyone single one of you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I adore you.”