Tennis author Christopher Clarey summed it up finest on Friday when he tweeted: “What a distinction 2 years and 4 1/2 months makes.”
That was the thought on everybody’s thoughts when Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka shared some wonderful embraces and posed for images collectively on the Adelaide Tremendous Slam tennis occasion.
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Williams beat Osaka of their exhibition conflict, prevailing 6-2, 2-6, 10-7 in a match tiebreaker.
They then embraced on the web and mingled collectively for an extended whereas after the match was over, chatting and laughing like good mates.
As many within the tennis world identified, it was a very different story at the US Open in 2018 when Osaka was lowered to tears within the post-match ceremony regardless of successful her maiden grand slam title.
Williams’ controversial actions within the remaining had taken the shine off Osaka’s victory, with parochial American followers booing in the course of the trophy ceremony, which noticed Osaka burst into tears.
Osaka later admitted that Williams had all the time been her idol and he or she was gutted with the way in which her unimaginable triumph had come about.
However fast-forward to 2021 and Osaka and Williams shared a really totally different second on Friday.
“Yesterday with the queen,” Osaka wrote on Instagram alongside images of her and Serena in Adelaide, in addition to one among her as a teenager together with her idol.
“Even in any case she has achieved, I can’t think about Naomi Osaka is used to those moments together with her idol. Good to see,” wrote tennis author Tumaini Carayol.
Commentator Nick McCarvel stated his favorite a part of the match was seeing Williams and Osaka embrace afterwards.
Serena Williams beats Naomi Osaka 6-2 2-6 10-7 in a match tiebreak, however truthfully this was my favourite a part of this Adelaide exhibition: pic.twitter.com/dTZdsENq6n
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) January 29, 2021
Serena and Osaka laughing on the benches 🥺✨
— Cameron (@camplustennis) January 29, 2021
By the way in which, Serena and Osaka so cute. Guffawing with one another all through that match.
Good to see some pleasant competitors.
— Actually, it’s simply Phil. (@philaniems) January 29, 2021
Osaka says Serena nonetheless the face of ladies’s tennis
Osaka on Sunday performed down her quick rise into superstardom, believing 23-time grand slam champion Williams stays the “face of ladies’s tennis”.
The 23-year-old has made a major splash on and off the courtroom since beating a tempestuous Williams in an notorious US Open remaining in 2018.
Osaka has since added two extra grand slam titles to her rising tally and the World No.3 is likely one of the favourites on the upcoming Australian Open, which she received two years in the past.
The success has made her a agency favorite with followers and sponsors and the Japanese star final yr surpassed Williams because the world’s highest paid feminine athlete after a slew of profitable offers.
Regardless of her rising fame and fortune – and outstanding advocacy for racial injustice – Osaka believes the seven-time Australian Open champion continues to be essentially the most influential participant on the ladies’s circuit.
“So long as Serena’s right here, I believe she’s the face of ladies’s tennis,” Osaka stated.
“Actually I do not really feel that means (about being the brand new face)… there’s so many fascinating new individuals. I believe I am one of many new individuals.”
In her first match since her US Open triumph final yr, Osaka fell to Williams of their Adelaide exhibition on Friday after rising from a compulsory 14-day quarantine.
“I wasn’t actually taking it too significantly as a match,” the Japanese participant admitted.
“But it surely was enjoyable to have the ability to hit together with her. I simply tried to have enjoyable and experiment a bit of.”
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