Japan’s newly-crowned U.S. Open women’s singles champion Naomi Osaka arrived back in Japan on Thursday to a hero’s welcome.
The 20-year-old, who stunned childhood idol and 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams in straight sets in the U.S. Open final in New York on Saturday, was welcomed home by dozens of fans at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.
Osaka, wearing a black cap and white glasses, was also greeted by about 50 members of the media.
«When I came here, and there were a lot of people waiting at the airport, I was really surprised and happy,» said Osaka at a press conference in Yokohama later Thursday. «I appreciate all the support.»
In winning the U.S. Open, Osaka, who is of Japanese and Haitian descent, became the first Japanese player, man or woman, to win a Grand Slam singles title.
She is scheduled to play at the Pan Pacific Open starting on Monday in Tokyo, her first tournament since her U.S. Open triumph.
All — Kyodo News+