WATCH: Tennis Channel Live discusses the expectations for Serena heading into the US Open


Tennis players… they’re just like us! Sort of.

From Grand Slam champions and WTA pros to tennis fans far and wide, it seems like everyone is fighting for a place in the stands during Serena Williams’ farewell tour. The 23-time major champion shared her impending retirement plans last week after her first match in Toronto, and rocked the tennis world in the process—sending fans racing to buy tickets for US Open Series events.

As one of the many players who grew up idolizing Serena, it’s no surprise that four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka would make her way into the stands to watch her final matches.

But when Osaka was spotted by TV cameras cheering her on against Emma Raducanu in the first round, the well-known introvert’s reaction was both hilarious and extremely relatable:

The Japanese player also suffered a tough defeat earlier in the day, bowing out of the tournament after a 6-4, 7-5 loss to Zhang Shuai in her opening round. But she stuck around at the Lindner Family Tennis Center for the marquee match of the evening, watching former No. 1 Williams taking on the reigning US Open winner for the first time.

Unfortunately for Osaka and fellow Serena fans, the 23-time Grand Slam champion bowed out in one-sided fashion, losing 6-4, 6-0, to the 19-year-old.


Osaka was also in the stands in Toronto, enjoying a front-row view of Williams’ 6-3, 6-4 victory over Nuria Parrizas-Diaz—one day before the 40-year-old announced her upcoming retirement via the front cover of Vogue.


Much like Serena, Osaka has been hitting the court throughout the hard-court swing in search of matches ahead of the year’s final major—but still looking for momentum after suffering early exits. Osaka started the season strong with a run to the Miami final, but has yet to win consecutive matches since then.

With her defeat on Tuesday to Zhang, Osaka will likely miss out on being seeded at the US Open, a tournament she has won twice previously.

But knowing how quickly she can heat up, that might not be such a bad omen: the last time Osaka went winless in Canada and Cincinnati was back in 2018, and she went on to win her first US Open trophy a few weeks later.