Japanese giant cashes in on Osaka's US Open triumph

Paola Ditto
Settembre 14, 2018

Osaka played an incredible match and was a gracious victor, despite a chorus of boos and jeers that erupted in the stadium when she clinched the win, mostly in response to umpire Carlos Ramos' calls.

The Japanese player's breakthrough triumph in NY was overshadowed by an explosive row between her opponent Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos which resulted in the 23-times Grand Slam champion being docked a game and fined $17,000.

"This week has been a dream come to life, and I'm so honoured to represent Japan and Nissan on the world stage", Osaka said.

"When you're little, you're taught not to look at, like, if your opponent gets angry or anything", Osaka explained on the show.

The 20-year-old Japanese star's monster endorsement deal with Adidas will reportedly be worth more than AU$14 million per year, which would make her the company's highest-paid women's athlete.

Despite the drama that plagued their final set, Osaka and Williams put on a beautifully unified front during the awards ceremony, with Williams even whispering affirmations to Osaka before the game ended.

Osaka, who is of Haitian and Japanese descent, became the first-ever Japanese-born Grand Slam champion with the win.

Osaka is back in her native Japan celebrating not only her landmark victory, but also a sponsorship deal with auto manufacturer Nissan.

"But if you were talking about my tennis, I think my tennis is not very Japanese".

"I was looking away, but I heard a lot of people in the crowd making noises, and I really wanted to turn around, but I didn't", she said.

Osaka said she holds no ill-feelings about what happened against Williams, despite being in tears while receiving the trophy inside New York's Arthur Ashe Stadium.

And it turns out Osaka actually has a new reason to feel happy.

"I know the way that I was brought up, people tell me I act kind of Japanese so I guess there is that".

"So hopefully I can be that role model".

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