Naomi Osaka's telling response to Serena Williams retirement call

Naomi Osaka (pictured left) crying as Serena Williams (pictured right) embraces her at the US Open.
Naomi Osaka (pictured left) has reacted with shock after her childhood idol Serena Williams (pictured right) announced her retirement after the US Open. (Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka has expressed her disappointment after Serena Williams announced she would retire from tennis after the US Open in 2022.

Williams, 40, hinted her retirement was coming after an unusual press conference at the Canadian Open following her first round victory.

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However, in a stunning announcement, Williams confirmed she would play her last tournament at her home grand slam later this month.

The decision sent shockwaves through the tennis community.

And one fellow player who has been impacted by the decision was Osaka.

Osaka suffered a shock defeat to Kaia Kanepi after retiring injured in the second set at the Canadian Open.

To add to her disappointment, her childhood idol announced she was ready to step away from the sport.

This prompted Osaka to announce her sorrow.

"Today is just really not a good day," Osaka said on Twitter.

The four-time grand slam champion has made it no secret that Williams was her tennis idol growing up.

Osaka famously took a selfie with Williams on her WTA Tour debut in 2014.

Most recently, Osaka took time at the Canadian Open to watch Williams win her first match in 430 days.

Osaka and Williams have also enjoyed a famous rivalry on the court.

The 24-year-old won her first, of four, grand slams when she defeated Williams in the 2018 US Open final.

The duo share two wins each in their head-to-head record.

Serena Williams retirement announcement

On Tuesday the 23-time grand slam champ confirmed the sad news in an article written for Vogue magazine, saying she will finish her career later this month at the US Open.

Williams has won six US Open titles and will go out in front of an adoring home crowd.

"I have never liked the word retirement," she wrote.

"Maybe the best word to describe what I'm up to is evolution. I'm here to tell you that I'm evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.

"A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family."

Heartbreakingly, Williams said there is "no happiness" in her decision.

“I know it’s not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain,” she added.

Serena Williams (pictured right) embraces Naomi Osaka (pictured left) at the Australian Open.
Serena Williams (pictured right) is the childhood tennis idol of Naomi Osaka (pictured left). (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images) (Andy Cheung via Getty Images)

“It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads.

"I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.”

In a storied career in which she dominated rivals like no other athlete, Williams claimed seven Australian Open titles, three French Open titles, seven Wimbledon crowns.

She announced herself to the world by winning the US Open in 1999 as an 18-year-old, a tournament she would go on to claim five more times.

Williams also owns 14 women's grand slam doubles titles with older sister Venus and has won four Olympic gold medals - one in singles (2012) and three in doubles (2000, 2008, 2012).

with AAP

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