Naomi Osaka has broken her silence on the controversial US Open final, labelling the memory of her breakthrough Grand Slam title as ‘bittersweet’.
Her straight-sets victory was overshadowed by Serena William’s infamous outburst as she accused chair umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism.
Speaking in Beijing, where the 20-year-old claimed her first ever win at the China Open, the 20-year-old revealed that she is doing all she can to move on from her triumph in New York.
“The memory of the US Open is a little bit bittersweet,” the world number six told reporters,
“Like right after, the day after, I really didn’t want to think about it because it wasn’t necessarily the happiest memory for me. I don’t know. Like, I just sort of wanted to move on at that point.”
Williams’ high-profile meltdown created a storm of controversy, outweighing Osaka’s feat as the first Japanese player to ever win a Grand Slam.
The US Open Champion compared the memory of her triumph to eating green tea ice cream.
“When you bite into it, it’s sweet, but also very strong — that’s how that memory feels to me,” she said.
“Of course I’m happy that I won a Grand Slam. I don’t think there’s anything that can take away from that. But I don’t know.
“I feel like not that when I look back on it that it’s a bad memory, but I feel like it was so strange, I didn’t just want to think about it. I wanted to just push it to the side.”
In the aftermath of her career-defining victory, Osaka continued her high-streak with a smooth run to the Tokyo final.
“I was lucky that Tokyo was so close because I could immediately focus on the next tournament,” Osaka said.
“Tokyo was a way to take my mind off of it. I think that’s why I did well.
“I didn’t think too much about what was going on, like the press or whatever. So maybe if I did have that time, I would be overwhelmed.
“For me, I’m really focused on playing the Asian swing. Yeah, for me the biggest goal right now is trying to get into Singapore.”
The 20-year-old reached the finals at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, but lost to world number seven Karolina Pliskova 6-4 6-4.
Defeating Zarina Diyas 6-4 6-3 Osaka will meet unseeded American Danielle Collins in the second round of the China Open.
The 20-year-old is focused on qualifiying for the BNP Paribas Finals Singapore, three years after winning the Rising Stars Invitational as an 18-year-old.
Source: Lucie Bertoldo