Naomi Osaka Says She Felt Like She ‘Had To Apologize’ After Her Historic U.S. Open Victory
"I felt like a little kid again," Osaka said.
September 10, 2018 at 9:09 pm
Update (September 10, 2018): Osaka visited The Today Show on Monday and spoke about her historic match with Williams and the controversy surrounding her win.
So focused on her game, Osaka told the hosts she wasn't sure what was going on between Williams and the umpire at first and was then confused why Serena was given a penalty.
"I didn't really know what was going on 'cause I went to the back, and I had my back turned," the newly-minted U.S. Open champ said. "And then before I knew it, she was saying there was a game penalty, so I was a little bit confused throughout the whole thing."
Japan's new favorite tennis player also revealed more about what she was feeling during the moment she realized the crowd was booing.
"I felt a little bit sad because I wasn’t really sure if they were booing at me or if it wasn’t the outcome that they wanted," Osaka said. "I also could sympathize because I’ve been a fan of Serena my whole life. And I knew how badly the crowd wanted her to win. I don’t know; I was just really emotional up there."
Because of how emotional she was and she fully empathized with everyone who'd come to see Serena, not her, make history, Osaka said she felt compelled to apologize, despite having done what she'd dreamed of doing her whole life.
"I felt like everyone was sort of unhappy about up there, and ... the ending wasn’t what people wanted it to be," she said. "In my dreams, I won in a very competitive match, so I don’t know. I just felt very emotional, and I felt like I had to apologize.”
Original: The 20-year-old tennis phenom Naomi Osaka took home the top prize at the U.S. Open Saturday night, following an intense match with tennis great Serena Williams.
Boos from fans outraged over the officiating added to the controversy surrounding her victory for Japan. But as photos of her crying during the trophy ceremony circulated, she was noticed for what appeared to be embarrassment instead of her victory.
"I know everyone was cheering for her and I'm sorry it had to end like this," said Osaka.
She was truly sad for Serena Williams, who was looking for her 24th Grand Slam, according to Tennis Now.
"Your question is making me emotional," she told a reporter during the post-match press conference. "Okay, because I know that, like, she really wanted to have the 24th Grand Slam, right? Everyone knows this. It's on the commercials, it's everywhere."
Williams lost the match due to three violations, including a cheating accusation and a point being confiscated by chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
"Like, when I step onto the court, I feel like a different person, right? I'm not a Serena fan. I'm just a tennis player playing another tennis player. But then when I hugged her at the net ...," Osaka explained as she began to tear up. "Anyway, when I hugged her at the net, I felt like a little kid again."
"When I step on the court, I'm not a Serena fan - I'm just a tennis player playing another tennis player. But when I hugged her at the net, I felt like a little kid again."— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2018
❤ @Naomi_Osaka_ lets us into her heart...#USOpen pic.twitter.com/GlCigEQUiv
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