Tennis

Osaka says fame won’t affect her game

Osaka says fame won’t affect her game

EDGAR SU

REUTERS

On Saturday, the 21-year-old said her life has changed a lot since the US Open but vowed to remain focused on tennis.

US Open champion Naomi Osaka said on Saturday that she is still grappling with her newfound stardom but believes the overwhelming attention won’t affect her game.

Last month, the Japanese claimed her maiden grand slam title at the US Open by beating a furious Serena Williams.

She triumphed 6-2 6-4 at Flushing Meadows to become Japan's first grand slam singles champion.

Talking to reporters in Singapore, the young player said her life has changed a lot since the US Open, but vowed to remain focused on tennis.

'With the recognition part, I do feel a bit different,' she said.

'Like before it was only Japan I felt like people knew me. But now like ... in the airports and stuff ... I just think that's (the attention) kind of funny.

'For me, I can't change who I am. I haven't really thought about changing my personality. I just focus on my matches, so I just play tennis and I leave the rest up to everyone that I trust.'

Osaka to return at WTA Finals

Since winning the US Open, the 21-year-old has fallen short in Tokyo and Beijing. At the China Open, she required treatment to her lower back during her semi-final defeat to Anastasija Sevastova.

However, she still has chances to finish a memorable year at the WTA Finals in Singapore, which start on Sunday.

At this tournament, Osaka will start against the American Sloane Stephens on Monday.

Along with Stephens, the Japanese has also been drawn in the same group as Angelique Kerber and Kiki Bertenes.

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