Recently, 4-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka opened up on her older sister Mari Osaka’s retirement from tennis, and we’ve got the feels. The current World No. 2, who clinched her second Australian Open title this year, credited her sibling for being the player that she is today.
Speaking to a press pool ahead of the Miami Open, on Tuesday, the 23-year-old Japanese superstar reaffirmed a statement she made at her first WTA presser at 2014 Stanford.
Naomi Osaka on win over sister Mari
Osaka said that she may have beaten the best in the game, including idol and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, but the win over her sister still ranks as her most cherished.
In her 1st WTA presser at 2014 Stanford, Naomi Osaka said her best win was beating older sister Mari, who announced her retirement this month.
Four Slams later, nothing’s changed.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) March 23, 2021
Tongue firmly in cheek, Osaka said that after being at the receiving end of the defeat most of their childhood, it was nice to get one back over her sibling.
“It’s a special moment to be losing to someone for, like, your whole childhood and then get to beat them.”
And while nothing compares to beating her sister, Osaka was quick to add:
“She’s the reason why I started playing tennis.”
She also mentioned that though it’s “sad” that Mari said her goodbye to the game, it wasn’t a decision that took her entirely by surprise.
The reigning US Open champion added that her sister is “so good at so many different things” and she wishes her happiness and success in everything she does going forward.
“Of course, it (Mari’s retirement) was a sad moment for our entire family. But it’s something that you could kind of feel coming.”