Published: Sun, January 19, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Why Serena Williams’ is a role model for everyone

Why Serena Williams’ is a role model for everyone

Already a two-time grand slam victor and former world number one at the age of 22, defending Australian Open champion Osaka has achieved more than most do in their entire careers in a little over six years as a professional. She did not coast into the 2020s so much as trudge there through a barren patch of almost three years.

Williams's latest Grand Slam final heartbreak came at the US Open, where she was stunned by Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu.

"I love this. 2 handsome, strong women supportive of each other", said one reply, while another read: "Two great players".

But this result even caught the attention of the U.S. president Donald Trump, who offered his congratulations on Twitter for "another big win".

Osaka has relished the opportunity to practice this week on the court where she overcame Petra Kvitova in a thrilling three-set final past year to seize the world No.1 ranking.

The 23-year-old Australian, who once took time off tennis to play professional cricket, won her maiden Major at Roland Garros last year.

But grand slam success has proven elusive since the birth of daughter Alexis Olympia.

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"I feel like previous year I was young. My goal was to win and I didn't let anything stop me".

Since having a child and returning to the WTA Tour Williams's focus has been split between raising a family and work.

World No 1 Ashleigh Barty opens against Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko, with the French Open champion on a collision course with last year's finalist Petra Kvitova in the last eight. She is gunning for an eighth Australian crown and her first Slam title since Melbourne in 2017.

The first Grand Slam of the 2020 season is set to go ahead as planned, despite the backdrop of raging bushfires that have devastated parts of Australia.

Her presence is not as intimidating, her power not as threatening. Now, you may think that for Serena Williams it's easy to make a statement because she is overly popular, but you must not forget that it is her inner power that got her where she is today.

One thing that has remained intact, however, is the old Williams self-belief.

After relinquishing her US citizenship when she turned 22 last October - Japan does not permit dual citizenship for adults - Osaka confirmed she would be representing the hosts at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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