Naomi Osaka Asks: What Would Serena Do? Then She Defeats Her

Ruben Holloway
March 24, 2018

Osaka was, however, able to stay level throughout the opening six games, and then cranked up the pressure; she forced a few errors out of the American for the first time, and broke for a 4-3 lead.

The 36-year-old, who last won the tournament in 2015, faced newly-crowned Indian Wells Masters champion Naomi Osaka in the first round.

But the 20-year-old drew first blood, piling pressure on the Williams serve and forcing the American to chip a backhand wide to concede the first break of the match.

The pair were on serve until Osaka forced break point chances at 3-3 and Williams was unable to deal with a blistering backhand at her feet.

Osaka defeats Williams in straight sets in Miami.

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Before the tournament, Williams claimed she would be taking her comeback step by step and will eventually return to her best as she battles off the rust from not playing tennis for over a year.

Williams, an eight-time Miami Open champion, saved the first match point but sent a routine forehand long to give rising star Osaka further glory.

She now faces world No. 4 Elina Svitolina in the second round on Friday.

Naomi Osaka- let that name sink into your head, because you are going to hear it more often than not, in the coming times. "I don't know if anybody knows this but Serena is my favorite player", Osaka said in an on-court interview. She has participated in the obstacle course contests several times, along with husband Alexis Ohanian and sister Venus Williams. She ousted Serena 6-3, 6-2 in a one hour, 17 minute match. "Just playing against her is kind of like a dream for me, so I'm very grateful that I was able to play her and it's even better that I was able to win".

Meanwhile, Osaka was over the moon with her win, which comes just a couple of days after winning her first-ever career title at Indian Wells.

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Naomi Osaka continues her winning streak. "I just wanted her after the match to know who I am".

The matchup worthy of a final came about because both players are unseeded. She had never lost before the Round of 16.

"I look forward to continuing my return by progressing every day". She also grew up idolizing Serena and was thrilled with the win over her tennis hero.

Add to that the firm instructive hands of her coach Mouratoglou and the listening ear of close friend and mentor King, Williams is well positioned to add a fourth French Open title and equal Court's record come June. She had a kid which we should all be celebrating so when she comes back there should be a grace period where she can still be seeded.

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