Naomi Osaka beat Venus Williams in the second round at the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday night to become the first qualifier to win a match at the tournament since Anna Kournikova did so in 2000. The win gave the 20-year-old her second win of the season, and Osaka is now assured of winning $64,150 in prize money.
The win follows Osaka’s heartwarming triumph over Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in her opening round match, which showed just how hungry she is for the big stage. The win also avenged a 6-1, 6-1 defeat by Williams in the U.S. Open girls’ final in 2010, also in Cincinnati.
Somehow, a female player beats Venus Williams, and just like that, all is forgiven — oh wait! Naomi Osaka (@Naomi_Osaka) June 28, 2017
Osaka now faces veteran American Madison Keys in the quarterfinals.
On Wednesday, she told the BBC: “I can’t really even talk about what happened right now, just to get everything, it’s just so crazy. I need to go back and talk to my coach.”
Osaka added that she was still in awe of her moment in the spotlight. “But no matter what happens this is not the main thing that is going to define me. All I’m trying to do is play tennis. I want to be known for my tennis. I want to be known for my results. And that’s all I care about.
“Obviously, if I can play and play well and win some more matches and become better and better, if my ranking goes up, then it’s going to all be good. But I’m not really worried about it.”