Naomi Osaka is known for her direct, funny and straight from the heart statements. Even after an exhausting battle in the US Open women’s singles final with Victoria Azarenka, she did not lose her humorous side. Osaka, after her fighting 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win against the Belarusian, joked that she did not want to play more finals with Azarenka.
Osaka and Azarenka were supposed to play the Western & Southern Open final two weeks ago before the Japanese pulled out with hamstring injury. As fate would have it, the moment was recreated on an even bigger stage as both the ladies made it to the final at Flushing Meadows. The battle between Osaka and Azarenka was expected to be tough and it did not disappoint.
Azarenka started the match on a high tearing down on Osaka, who just failed to find any kind of rhythm. However, midway through the second set, she raised her level to start marching foward. Even as Azarenka kept fighting back, including a break back in the decider, Osaka maintained her level and claimed her second US Open trophy and a third Grand Slam title.
During the presentation, Azarenka congratulated Osaka on the victory and said, “I hope we can meet in some more finals again."
And so, when Osaka got to the mic, she congratulated Azarenka as well but joked that she did not want to play more finals with her. “Actually don’t want to play you in any more finals. I didn’t really enjoy that. It was a really tough match for me," she said.
However, she then said how inspiring it was to play against Azarenka at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. “It’s really inspiring for me because I used to watch you play here when I was younger. So just to have the opportunity to play you is really great and I learned a lot, so thank you."
There was another moment of humour from Osaka when she was asked why, after the win and net exchange with Azarenka, she went back to the court and lay down with her back to the court.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 12, 2020
“I always see everyone collapse after match point, but I always think ‘you may injure yourself,’ so I wanted to do it safely," she said.