Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Naomi Osaka has no hard feelings toward Serena Williams

Naomi Osaka has no hard feelings toward Serena Williams

The chair umpire who penalized Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final has spoken publicly for the first time since the match, saying he is "fine".

She said on Thursday that this was largely because she had no idea how she was supposed to react. The U.S. Open fined Williams for her three code violations.

A starstruck Osaka chatted with DeGeneres on "Ellen" on Wednesday and talked about her experience of the championship match that's made headlines more for Williams' outburst than her impressive win over the 23-time Grand Slam victor. "You're told to just turn around and try to focus, so I tried to do that, but in my mind I was sort of.like, I really wanted to know what was going on".

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Swinging by The Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday to discuss the experience of winning her first-ever Grand Slam title, Osaka also chose to open up about what she was thinking when the controversy began to unfurl on the court.

The Japan native's whirlwind press tour continued in Yokohoma Thursday morning where she told reporters at a news conference that the negative energy around her first Grand Slam win didn't detract from her joy.

Public attitudes are slowly changing as Japanese society becomes more integrated with the global economy, and the emergence of more ethnically mixed celebrities, especially in sport, is helping.

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"You're stressing me out", Osaka quipped, somewhat sheepishly. "I couldn't hear and 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".

Furthermore, in embracing her new high profile, Osaka wants to serve as a role model for young Japanese children.

"I'm fine, given the circumstances", Ramos said, according to the newspaper.

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"I've always thought that Kei (Nishikori) is a super good role model on the men's side and I wish that there was one on the women's side".

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