Will Naomi Osaka Eventually Surpass Serena Williams?

Naomi Osaka

Will Naomi Osaka Eventually Surpass Serena Williams? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com

The ascension of Naomi Osaka continued this weekend as the 23-year-old secured her fourth career grand slam at the Australian Open. In route to her fourth major championship in as many tries, Osaka defeated her childhood idol Serena Williams, and with the title moved one step closer to doing something many people, like me, believe will eventually happen. 

Naomi Osaka will one day surpass Serena Williams and become the greatest women’s tennis player in history.

For the second time in two years Naomi Osaka secured both the US Open and Australian Open titles in back-to-back majors, bringing her career total to four. In stopping Serena Williams in the semi-finals last week, the woman who holds the rank of the greatest female athlete of all-time, was stopped cold from winning her 24th career major as Osaka controlled their match from start to finish. By doing so, she achieved what Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes couldn’t just two weeks earlier, Osaka stared down the best to ever play her sport by defeating Williams. 

The 23 grand slam titles Serena Williams has earned may seem like a mountain too high for any modern tennis player, male or female to climb. In fact, Williams herself is having a hard time earning another major, giving her the same amount as Margaret Court; and at 39, reaching the semifinals is becoming an achievement in of itself for her.

Naomi Osaka is already following in the footsteps of Serena Williams off the court, securing more than a dozen endorsement deals and building her empire all while continuing to win major titles. The part Japanese, part Haitian tennis star has already learned what to do in the business world, allowing her to become the top ranked female player in the world, and setting herself up to make a run at the immortal Serena Williams and become the tennis’ great champion.

I have a few reasons why I believe Naomi Osaka can and will make a run at Serena Williams and will one day pass her in the record books. It’s clear so far that Osaka is grounded in her personal life, she has been with her boyfriend, rapper Cordae, for two years, and with her off the court business also booming, it’s clear that winning as much as possible can and will remain a high priority for the 23-year-old. 

All of this stability in her life also allows Osaka to provide a voice for those who don’t have one and call for the social changes many athletes are correctly doing over the past year. She is also not shy about bringing her activism on to the court, because while Serena Williams is just as well known for her tennis attire, Osaka, during last year’s US Open, wore seven different masks, each with the name of a person who died at the hands of the police, expressing a maturity level that some athletes take decades to find, with some never reaching the same level she already has.

It’s very easy for any fan of tennis to enjoy watching Osaka play. Her strength and personality can be seen in every match, with her sense of humor recently on display when she penned a message to her sister on a court side camera lens after a victory last week.

Her understanding of the bigger picture is clear by looking at her Twitter account, where she has a photo of Kobe Bryant and the title “chaotic neutral,” telling me that all her mental and physical energy is positive and those around her should be part of that, or they won’t be in her inner circle much longer.

This prediction is not just about the tennis player, but the woman herself, since Naomi Osaka has won four majors in her first four tries; and she hasn’t yet begun to win on the courts of France and England in the spring. Once she does that the career grand slam, if not, the calendar slam will be within her reach. 

My prediction is more about who Naomi Osaka is as a person, and how she is already creating a ground swell of new, young fans who are looking up to her and watching was she does … a pressure that many athletes can’t handle, but Osaka brings with her to the court, using it as fuel to make herself the kind of champion any sport would embrace.

It is wonderful to watch Naomi Osaka play tennis, and one day we will be able to say that we watched the greatest player of all time take her play amongst the best athletes in history. Four down and how many more titles to go? Who knows, but it is going to be an amazing journey for sure. 

 


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Will Naomi Osaka Eventually Surpass Serena Williams? | TooAthletic.com

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