Published: Friday 14 September, 2018

US Open Champion Naomi Osaka Breaks Her Silence on Serena Meltdown

Naomi Osaka Serena Williams

Naomi Osaka being congratulated by Serena Williams. (Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

When Naomi Osaka won the 2018 US Open last week, much of the focus was not on her but on Serena Williams. Osaka may have won the title but the headlines screamed Serena and that controversial meltdown leading to her defeat.

For the first time, Naomi Osaka spoke about the incident and that episode with Serena Williams. On the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Naomi said she actually did not know what was happening during the meltdown because she tried to keep her focus.

Naomi Osaka told Ellen that she was taught not to pay attention if her opponent got angry so that she wouldn’t lose her focus on the game. And that was what she did during the 2018 US Open finals.

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‘I was looking away, but I heard a lot of people in the crowd making noises, and I really wanted to turn around, but I didn’t,’ Osaka told Ellen DeGeneres.

And later, it was Serena who comforted her amid jeers from the crowd. Naomi got emotional because she thought the jeers were for her but Serena assured her that it was not.

‘[Williams] said she was proud of me, and that I should know the crowd isn’t booing at me,’ Naomi said. ‘I was really happy she said that.’