Naomi Osaka has revealed Serena Williams told her she was proud of her after she stunned the 23-time Grand Slam winner to win the US Open, her first major.
The 20-year-old Japanese defeated her hugely more experienced idol 6-2 6-4 in a stormy final that was tied to anger, boos, tears and an accusation of ”sexist remark.”
An infuriated Williams confronted Carlos Ramos, the match’s lead umpire, who issued three penalties against her in the second set, after Osaka had established her dominance.
The reactions which trailed the controversial game overshadowed Osaka’s win as crowd inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium jeered during the trophy presentation, dampening Osaka’s moment.
But speaking on Wednesday, Osaka said she was unsure just why the crowd were booing at the time because, according to her, Williams had commended her for the win
“She said, like, she was proud of me and that I should know that the crowd weren’t booing at me,” Osaka told The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “So I was really happy that she said that.
“At the time, I did kind of think they were booing at me ‘cause I couldn’t tell what was going on because it was just so loud in there, so it was a little bit stressful.”