Osaka: I wasn’t sure if they were booing at me

Naomi Osaka has given more insight into the jumble of emotions she experienced following her US Open victory over Serena Williams over Saturday.

After Williams’ epic tirade against Carlos Ramos resulted in her being docked a game, the Flushing Meadows crowd turned loud and angry, and they carried on booiing even during the closing ceremony long after match point.

For Osaka, the experience was mortifying – not only because Williams was an idol of hers, but because it wasn’t exactly clear how much of the crowd’s anger was directed at her. Certainly they cared little in celebrating her victory.

“I felt a little bit sad because I wasn’t really sure if they were booing at me or if it wasn’t the outcome they wanted,” she said on NBC’s The TODAY Show.

Williams eventually calmed down enough to see that Osaka was in some emotional distress over all that had happened and tried to comfort her, and the young champion said it helped – at least a little bit.

What is clear though is that the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Osaka’s US Open win, which ended with the champion covering her eyes with her cap during the closing ceremony out of pain and discomfort, may never be seen again.

Let’s hope it never is.