Williams’ strength, perseverance, and techniques in the game of tennis are uncanny. Born in the US on September 26, 1981, Serena has completely transformed women’s tennis. She has bagged 23 Grand Slam Singles titles second only to Margaret Court (24).
However, things are revamping as Serena continues to age. Serena is pushing 40 now, however, she started as a professional at the tender age of 14.
An emerging tennis star of gen Z, Naomi Osaka has overshadowed Serena’s performances right after a nerve-racking US open final in 2018. The decisive match between both women in which everyone felt the heat, also left both of them emotional and crying. But Naomi was the one lifting the US Open Cup as a champion. Since then Serena has been stuck at number 23 and trying hard to level the record of 24 by Margaret Court.
Naomi Osaka was born in October 1997 in Osaka, Japan. She so humbly describes in an interview how she idolized Serena Williams since she was three and told her as a role model in a letter. Naomi is a 4 times winner of Grand Slam Singles and has been the current champion at the US Open and Australian Open.
How similar are they off the field?
- Tennis is among the very few games which treat men and women equally when it comes to fame and financial benefits. Serena and Naomi both are currently considered as the highest-paid female tennis stars to earn through endorsements and different talent agencies.
- Serena Williams is currently serving as a Goodwill Ambassador for Unicef. She is often seen getting herself involved in various charity work and is serving different organizations. Likewise, Naomi Osaka tends to follow the footsteps of Williams as she has been seen admiring Serena’s work for women at various events. She at present is collaborating with Nike to help women and girls in Haiti and the US.
Comparison of Stats
Serena Williams career stats
Single titles: 73
Matches won: 834
Matches lost: 143
Career doubles titles: 23
High rank for singles: 1
High rank for doubles: 1
Naomi Osaka career stats
- Single titles: 6
- Matches won: 136
- Matches lost: 73
- Career doubles titles: 0
- High rank for singles: 1
- High rank for doubles: 4
A controversy That Sparked A Lot Of Buzz in Media
The 2018 US Women’s Grand Slam final might have been the most happening in the history of tennis. Serena Williams was eyeing for another triumph to level her grand slam singles wins with Margaret Court. While a 20-year-old Naomi Osaka was determined to bring glory back home to Japan for the first time.
It turned out to be a crunch of a contest. Though, in the start, it seemed as if Serena would win easily. It was Naomi who recovered quickly and won the straight sets, 6-2, 6-4 by fighting back hard in the end.
The world was stunned as were the spectators, the racket and shouting of the crowd were all about the loss of their all-time favorite tennis champion. This cacophony did not end there, during the presentation ceremony the crowd started booing in anger and disappointment. Osaka started crying while enduring all this that turned her most precious moments into a miserable scenario.
Serena was the one who showed great empathy and told the crowd to be polite with Naomi as she deserves to be appreciated. She told them not to boo anymore. The match itself was a controversial one as the referee charged a three times code violation against Serena.
The first penalty was given as she interacted with her coach during the match. She then threw her racket down in rage in the second set and lost a point in penalty. Adding fuel to the fire, the referee awarded a game to Osaka, giving her an edge over her counterpart of 5-3, because of her verbal abuse.
Though Williams refused to shake hands with the umpire yet embraced her competitor emotionally and congratulated her. After this unexpected turn of events, all media cells and magazines were crammed with the recent loss of Serena and how it changed into a controversy. However, both players handled the situation wisely to take themselves out of the situation.
Serena’s Emotional State Due To Recent Losses
Serena endured another loss in the grand slam singles title after Osaka defeated her once again in the Australian Open 2021. She was denied the pursuit of Margaret Court’s record(24) the second time in the women’s tennis championship. Osaka won the contest fair and square by 6-3, 6-4.
The crowd acknowledged the legendary Serena Willams and her legacy by awarding her the standing ovation. The sight of the sentimental crowd or loss of consecutive games from Osaka might become the reason for her retirement from the game. She waved to the loving crowd and put her hand on her heart.
After the gesture, social media sites were flooded with speculations that this might be the end of her long glorious journey. In her post-match press conference, Serena could not control her tears. Replying to a question of a correspondent she said, ” I don’t know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone”
However, they share a friendly bond as they both praise each other offside the court.
What will it take Naomi to come up to par with Serena?
Taking a closer look at the statistics of both players it is evident that Serena Williams has had a wonderful record.
The way she has carried her strength and consistency in the game plan over the years has just been amazing. All the tennis freaks have always admired the long and successful career of Serena.
The real question: Can Naomi Osaka overtake Serena Williams’ legacy?
The way Naomi Osaka has been grabbing victories in recent years has certainly shown her class and skills. She is currently ranked number 1 by the Women Tennis Association yet she has to go a long way to match Serena’s legacy.
It would be a tough task, keeping in view the stats. Serena’s total career losses are just 143 compared to Naomi’s 73.
It must have been Serena’s dream to end her splendid career victorious, proving herself to be the greatest of all time. No doubt she is the favorite of millions of fans who supported her during her losses against Naomi Osaka in recent years.
But it might just become her unfulfilled dream as she’s been facing her rival who is considered as the greatest of today’s game.
Both the stars have four times turned up against each other. Serena was able to bag only a single victory for her against Naomi in those matches and that was in Canada’s Roger Cup in 2019. Serena has won 23 Grand Slam Singles titles in the open Era.
It’s the most remarkable and record-breaking achievement by any man or woman in this game.
Moreover, in the doubles category, Serena with her sister Venus Williams was victorious in 14 Grand Slam doubles titles. Although Naomi has grabbed 4 grand slam titles in an extremely short career she still needs to work on her doubles game.
She has been unfortunate in snatching even a single victory in her doubles game. Fingers crossed for that!
Nobody but Williams herself knows when her career might come to an end. Reaching to the heights of Serena Williams’ game might be possible for Naomi as her expertise is unique in her way.
However, to reach those goals she is trying to achieve her wins in the long run.
All in all, it would be a tough task to shatter those monstrous records that Serena Williams has set for her rivals.