First of all, Naomi Osaka absolutely deserved to win the 2018 Women’s Singles title at the United States Open. Although the final with her idol Serena Williams ended in controversy, Naomi was the stronger player on this day. I’m not suggesting that Serena could not have come back but let us praise Naomi Osaka on this day. I have been watching Naomi for several years and it seems that over time the more I watch her game improve and her personality during interviews the more enamored I become of her. For the last five years I had never rooted for anybody when they played Madison Keys, my favorite. That was, until the women’s semi-finals on Thursday when even to my own surprise I found myself pulling for Osaka to win. I’ll admit, deep down I felt, already knowing that Serena had made it to the final, Osaka would give her a better match in my opinion based on how Naomi was playing. Not only did Naomi give her a better match she gave Serena all that she could handle and then some. The 20 year old Haitian-Japanese Osaka is possibly a player that could dominate the tour for years to come if she can play this way consistently. I think by adding former Serena hitting partner Sascha Bajin as a coach, Naomi has grown incredibly this year in both her play and her belief in herself on court. Her win at Indian Wells earlier this year will now definitely not be seen as some sort of fluke. Naomi Osaka is the real deal. She got some help today from an overzealous chair umpire, but in the end I don’t feel she really needed it to have won outright. Today, a new star was born in tennis.
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NAOMI OSAKA, 2018 US OPEN CHAMPION