After receiving criticism for its publication and its legend, the current champion of women's singles at the Australian Open defended herself by calling Serena her "mother".
The popular Romanian, the WTA Fans' Favourite for the last three years, may ultimately take on No6 seed Belinda Bencic, who won last year's WTA Comeback award, in the quarter-finals.
Osaka fell at the first hurdle at Wimbledon, losing to Yulia Putintseva and coupled with a plethora of off-court distractions for the world number one, things looked to be headed in the wrong direction for her.
But the 22-year-old, as if aware of what's at stake, said he felt more fearful last year.
Many have also come out in defense of Naomi, with a saying: "You all think that it is about age when it comes to who BORN the opportunities for young black tennis players".More news: Trump proposes rollbacks for Michelle Obama school lunch guidelines
Yet she has come to be defined just as much by her lows, the most prominent of which marred her maiden major triumph at the 2018 US Open, when Osaka was left in tears by boos during the trophy ceremony after Serena Williams' row with umpire Carlos Ramos.
Fires began burning late previous year in September as a result of record breaking heat, drought and lightning strikes.
Pushed over what she meant, she said, "I think just before everything, if I lost, it wouldn't be an article".
"I'm just super happy to be back here".
Despite her rapid rise to the upper echelons of women's tennis, little has been straightforward for Naomi Osaka in what can already be considered a glittering career.More news: Horgan says ‘rule of law applies,’ LNG pipeline will proceed despite protests
"My goal was to win, and I wasn't going to let anything stop me".
"Just knowledge", the 22-year-old said when asked what she was looking for in the Belgian mentor. I expected a lot of information for him to know, like what he was talking about.
Seeded eight, she heads into the tournament on the back of ending a three-year title drought by winning the Auckland Classic.
The world No.3 begins her title defence against Czech Marie Bouzkova in the opening match at Rod Laver Arena on Monday. Osaka comforted a tearful Gauff, and convinced her to stay on the court to conduct a post-match interview together.
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