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Serena´s conqueror and a new tennis superstar - who is Naomi Osaka?

22 März 2018 14:18

Naomi Osaka is riding the crest of a wave on the WTA Tour after her Indian Wells Masters triumph and victory over childhood idol Serena Williams in Miami.

The 20-year-old has burst onto the wider scene in recent weeks with an impressive eight-match winning streak that included some high-profile scalps.

Her straight-sets success over Williams was the icing on the cake, though, given the 23-time grand slam champion's standing in the game.

But who is Naomi Osaka? We take a look at the rising star.

 

- Osaka was born on October 16, 1997, in the city of Osaka on the Japanese island of Honshu.

- Her current ranking is the highest in her fledgling career, she is the world number 22.

- Osaka is an aggressive baseliner, with a strong forehand and powerful serve.

- Osaka's idol is Serena Williams: "Serena's my favourite players. Just playing against her is kind of like a dream for me, so I'm very grateful that I was able to play her and it's even better that I was able to win."

- She made her WTA Tour debut at the 2014 Bank of West Classic in Stanford. Osaka beat Sam Stosur in the first round before losing to Andrea Petkovic.

- In January 2016, Osaka appeared in the main draw of a grand slam for the first time at the Australian Open. She reached the third round before losing to Victoria Azarenka.

- After one final, four quarter-finals and third-round appearances at three grand slams, Osaka was named 2016 WTA Newcomer of the Year.

- The 2018 Australian Open saw Osaka reach the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time.

- At Indian Wells on Sunday, the youngster claimed her first WTA Tour crown.

- Osaka has beaten four current/former WTA number ones in her last eight matches – Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep and Serena Williams.

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