'Heiress to greatness'-Worlds media hails Osaka
NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: aomi Osaka became a three-time Grand Slam champion on Saturday as she fought back from the loss of the opening set to seal a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Victoria Azarenka.
The Japanese star caught the eye with the quality of her tennis over the fortnight at Flushing Meadows, but also with her maturity, which she amply displayed to overcome an opponent who was inspired in the first set then determined thereafter.
An offshoot of that has been her activism around racial inequality, which came to the fore during her run at the Cincinnati event in New York – and her continued quest to raise awareness of the issue was invariably to the fore as commentators around the globe analyzed her latest success.
“When it comes to sporting events that make fashion statements, the US Open gives its players a long runway to rival anything you’d find at New York Fashion Week or even nearby LaGuardia International,” the Guardian’s Andrew Lawrence wrote as he branded her an "indispensable" voice.
“This year, though, instead of Serena Williams in a catsuit... it was 22-year-old Naomi Osaka taking to a virtually empty Arthur Ashe stadium in facemasks bearing the names of Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery...”
ESPN’s D’Arcy Maine said: “She solidified her status as the sport's new leader on and off the court.”
The New York Times’ Christopher Clarey, who noted that the player’s self-admitted goal has been “to make people start talking”, pointed out that “Osaka — with her talent and increasingly confident voice — seems to have that effect.”
“Osaka’s influence only grew” in this regard with her third with her third major title, The Washington Post’s Ava Wallace said.
The BBC’s tennis correspondent Russell Fuller added: “Not only is she playing with supreme confidence once again, but is also able to use her influence to promote social justice in a very assured and unassuming way.”
Indeed, it was argued by Tennis.com’s Steve Tignor that Osaka has changed how the sport of tennis should perceive itself.
“Tennis is a selfish game, we’re told. You win matches and you lose matches the same way: alone. At the last two Opens, Osaka has shown that this doesn’t have to be the case,” he wrote, while praising the champion for being able to being able to “bring her mind back to the task at hand”.
Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim stated that victory took Osaka to “a new level of stardom” while L’Equipe’s Sophie Dorgan branded her “the heiress to the greatest”.