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WTA rising star Naomi Osaka quotes Pokemon after Australian Open win

Andrew Hendrie in News 22 Jan 2016
  • Osaka commanding attention at Australian Open
  • Into RD3 to face Azarenka
  • Quoting Pokemon in her interviews
Naomi Osaka (Photo: SAEED KHAN/Getty Images)

Japanese prodigy Naomi Osaka is formally announcing herself as a star of the future at this year’s Australian Open - on and off the court.




It was as a raw 16-year-old talent when Osaka first showcased her immense talents, beating Sam Stosur with blistering power as she qualified to make the Round of 16 in Stanford back in 2014. She was ranked 406 at the time.

Now ranked at No. 127 and having successfully qualified for her first grand slam main draw at the Australian Open, the 18-year-old Osaka is commanding attention not just for her growing on-court exploits.

Following her impressive 6-4 6-4 win over 18th seed Elina Svitolina on Thursday, Osaka - who is of Japanese and Haitian heritage - was interviewed by The New York Times and asked what her goals were for the future.

“To be the very best, like no one ever was,” she said.

When the interviewer didn’t immediately grasp what she said, Osaka responded:

“That’s a Pokemon quote, I’m sorry,” she said. “That’s the Pokemon theme song. But, yeah, to be the very best, and go as far as I can go.”

Brilliant stuff. An up and coming WTA star quoting Pokeman to describe her lofty tennis ambitions. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Only it does. Osaka is so refreshingly honest, hilarious and down-to-earth in her interviews, that her quotes are increasingly becoming the stuff of legends.

When asked about how it feels to make the third round of a grand slam Osaka said “it freaks me out”, while she responded to a query about why she doesn’t show too much emotion on court by saying: “Just genetically my face is like this. I’m sorry.”

What if her fairytale run continues with a shock upset win over second favourite for the title Azarenka on Saturday - will Osaka crack a smile then?

“I feel like there’s something wrong with me because I don’t get excited for anything that much.”

You better believe she won’t….


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WTA rising star Naomi Osaka quotes Pokemon after Australian Open win

Japanese prodigy Naomi Osaka is formally announcing herself as a star of the future at this year’s Australian Open - on and off the court.

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