Get to know new US Open champion Naomi Osaka

Marcus Newton
September 10, 2018

Osaka's profile has soared in Japan, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tweeting his pride on behalf of the nation. As boos echoed in the arena and Osaka hid her eyes behind her visor and cried, Williams put her arm around the champion and told the crowd, "I just want to tell you guys she played well and this is her first Grand Slam...."

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Williams abused her racket, but Ramos did something far uglier: He abused his authority... It was then that Mr Francois came up with a plan to groom his daughters into champions. This prompted Williams to address him. In tennis, one of the capacities most valued is self-reliance - the ability to direct one's performance in competition unaided by others.

But just who is this 20-year-old? This is not the first incident at the 2018 US Open in which coaching was the centre of controversy. It was not until their teenage years that Osaka began to win. "I'm not really social...", "I'm only 20!", "I think I'd probably play a video game..." she mused at the post-match press conference, every sentence punctuated by giggles.

"To keep your cool like that, from the moment you step onto court to the last point, isn't easy", added the former world number four, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 1996. In interviews, she often lapses into English. Throughout the entire ordeal that stole her well-earned spotlight, Osaka was either sitting with a towel over her head or standing next to the line umpires, her shoulders slumped, her back to the court. In a true test of nerves, Osaka closed the set and the match to seal her victory.

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Japan's largest newspaper, Yomiuri, called Osaka a "new heroine that Japan is proud of" and characterized her appeal as "the contrast between her strength on the court and her innocent character off the court". The Overwatch League is a professional tournament held for the video game Overwatch.

Williams argued that although she did called Ramos a "thief", male players who have been even more abusive towards an umpire in the past were not punished in the same way. "She could keep her concentration and disposition", said Tetsuo.

Serena Williams of the US argues tournament official Brian Earley while playing Naomi Osaka of Japan in the women's final on day thirteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Osaka's mother Tamaki became estranged from her conservative Japanese family when it was found out that she was dating Mr Francois, a foreigner and a black man.

But her grandparents have now turned to support her.

The chair umpire that Serena Williams called a thief in Saturday's U.S. Open women's final has always been one of the on-court officials willing to enforce the rules without fear or favour on the game's biggest stars, male and female.

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