Rave of the moment Naomi Osaka said Serena Williams’s row with the umpire during the US Open final had not altered her feelings about winning her maiden Grand Slam.
The Japanese sensation said this was largely because she had no idea how she was supposed to react to her incredible success.
Osaka’s breakthrough triumph in New York 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.
At Flushing Meadows on Saturday, the 20-year-old world number seven was reduced to tears during the presentation ceremony but on her arrival back in Japan on Thursday, she said she had not been saddened by the incident.
“For me, I don’t feel sad because I wouldn’t even know what I’m expected to feel,” she told a news conference in Yokohama.
“Because it was my first final and my first Grand Slam victory, overall I felt really happy and I know that I accomplished a lot.
“I don’t think I even thought about feeling sad because there’s no experience for me to draw on (from) any other Grand Slam final.”
After her outburst in the final, much of the criticism of Williams has centred on how her actions had spoiled a precious moment for Osaka, who was even moved to apologise for beating the home favourite to a New York crowd angrily booing Ramos.