Osaka unfazed by Serena meltdown

Sports | 14 Sep 2018

Naomi Osaka refused to criticize Serena Williams after her historic US Open victory was overshadowed by the American tennis star's furious row with the chair umpire.

The 20-year-old melted hearts when she broke down sobbing after thrashing her idol 6-2, 6-4 to become Japan's first Grand Slam singles champion.

On her return to Japan, Osaka insisted there were no hard feelings towards Williams, who branded umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief" in an astonishing tantrum triggered by a code violation for coaching that culminated in a docked game.

"I don't feel sad because I wouldn't even know what I'm expected to feel," said Osaka, who has climbed from 19th to seventh in the world rankings.

"I don't think I even thought about feeling sad because there's no experience for me to draw on in any other Grand Slam final. I just thought I shouldn't have any regrets. Overall I felt really happy and know I accomplished a lot."

Osaka, who competes at next week's Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, also revealed her plans to break into the top five this year - and win a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. "But I'm not putting pressure on myself. For now I'm just sort of riding the wave," she said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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