A Deeper Personal Assessment
by Paul Truong
I replayed the key points of the Serena Williams v Naomi Osaka match in the Final of the 2018 US Open at least 10 times.
Naomi was rock solid with her nerves and emotion. She was absolutely determined to beat Serena. She was not afraid. She was very confident. She was fully focused. She was in her zone. She did not allow the fans, the circumstances, or any outside factors to distract her. This is incredibly hard for any athlete in any sport, especially at such a young age, and being in the Final of a Grand Slam for the first time. She played great and clutch tennis. She thoroughly and convincingly defeated Serena.
What impressed me the most is even though she was raised in the United States since the age of 3, she is proud of her Japanese/Haitian heritage.
She was humbled even in victory. I saw something so amazing but no one talked about it, and I guess that is where she got this demeanor from, when she went to her box after the match to celebrate. Her Mom was in the 2nd row. She afforded every person in the box the opportunity to greet, hug, and shake hands with her daughter. She waited until everyone was done before she approached her daughter. Then they had a long embrace and both of them were in tears. Her Mom clearly showed respect and appreciation to everyone who helped and supported her daughter. Class and thoughtfulness from Mom! Like Mother like Daughter!
In an era when there is usually more hype than substance, together with the in-your-face up yours mentality, it is a breath of fresh air to see how Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic, and Juan Martin del Potro conducted themselves, professionalism and mutual respect even in the heat of competition!
Everyone can learn something from this very poised 20 year old. If Naomi can keep this up, she will have a very bright future, on and off the tennis court.