'For me, I don't feel sad because I wouldn't even know what I'm expected to feel,' Osaka said after the US Open final.
Yokohama: Japan's Naomi Osaka made history by beating Serena Williams to win the US Open on Saturday, but her victory and its enormity seemed to have been overshadowed Williams's outburst in the final and her run-in with the umpire. Osaka, though, has refused to criticise Williams.
The 20-year-old Osaka breezed to the title 6-2, 6-4, putting paid to Williams's hopes of winning a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam. Osaka melted viewers' hearts when she broke down sobbing after beating her idol to become Japan's first Grand Slam singles champion in New York last weekend.
Japanese tennis legend Kimiko Date told the media that it made her "heart-ache" to see Osaka bend to tears and unable to savour her moment of glory.
But after returning to Japan on Thursday, Osaka insisted there were no hard feelings towards Williams, who branded umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief" in an astonishing tantrum triggered by a code violation for coaching that culminated in a docked game.
"For me, I don't feel sad because I wouldn't even know what I'm expected to feel," said Osaka, who has climbed from 19th to seventh in the new world rankings.
"I don't think I even thought about feeling sad because there's no experience for me to draw on in any other Grand Slam final," she added.
"I just thought I shouldn't have any regrets. Overall I felt really happy and know I accomplished a lot."
Osaka, who competes at next week's Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, also revealed her plans to break into the top five this year -- and win a shiny gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"I think for this year my immediate goal would be to get to Singapore," said Osaka after putting herself firmly in contention to reach the season-ending WTA Finals.
"I want to do well at the Pan Pacific Open and maybe year-end top five, but I'm not putting pressure on myself. For now, I'm just sort of riding the wave."
"Of course I'm very excited the Olympics are going to be held in Tokyo," added Osaka, who is of Haitian-Japanese descent and was raised in the United States.
"It's every athlete's dream to play in the Olympics, so of course it would be my goal to win gold."
Kimiko Date, the former world number four, has tipped Osaka to become Japan's first tennis number one.
But for now, Osaka wants to do general principle like to catch up with big sister Mari, who is also a professional tennis player, go shopping and eat her favourite matcha ice cream.
"I guess I'd like to hang out with my sister -- I haven't seen her since Wimbledon," said Osaka, who has become an unlikely hero in a country still reeling after a summer of deadly typhoons and earthquakes.
"The Pan Pacific is so close, and I have to be on a diet for my matches, so maybe afterwards for the ice cream."
Asked how she felt about being a role model for young children, Osaka gave mixed signals.
"I've always thought Kei (Nishikori) was a super good role model and hopefully I can be that too," she said.
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Last Updated Sep 19, 2018, 9:25 AM IST