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7 May, 2019 15:13

‘I don't consider myself the next Serena’: Naomi Osaka on reaching peak of women's tennis

‘I don't consider myself the next Serena’: Naomi Osaka on reaching peak of women's tennis

Tennis world number one Naomi Osaka of Japan has said she doesn’t want to compare herself with US legend Serena Williams, adding that she prefers to enjoy the game rather than focusing on winning dozens of Grand Slams.

In a recent interview with El Pais, the 21-year-old expressed her admiration for Williams. She said, however, that she doesn’t want to expose herself to pressure by attempting to win as many titles as the American 23-time Grand Slam winner.

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I admire everything [Serena Williams] has fought for on the court, that she was always a guarantee to win, which seems very strange to me,” Osaka said.

But I do not consider myself the next Serena, because I do not believe that there will ever be one like her. I consider myself as the next Naomi. I would like to win as many titles as her, but I am not sure I can do it. That’s my goal, but I do not want to put pressure on myself for trying to win 20 Grand Slams,” she added.

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The winner of back-to-back Grand Slam tournaments - the US and Australian Opens - explained that she is focused on enjoying life and playing tennis rather than on on-court achievements.

I am enjoying my life, my game, working as much as possible. I do not think there are limits. If I know that I can do something, there is always a way to succeed,” Osaka said.

On Tuesday, she progressed to the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open, beating Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in three sets, 7-6 3-6 6-0.