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Hard work helps Camila Osorio rebuild momentum at Citi Open after Wimbledon injury
The rising Colombian star surged to victory over Sofia Kenin and aims to win a second straight match over a Grand Slam champion with Emma Raducanu looming next.
Published Aug 03, 2022
WATCH: Osorio reached her third career final in Monterrey earlier this year, enduring a narrow loss to Leylah Fernandez.
The last time I saw Camila Osorio in person, she was still a junior basking in the glow of her first Grand Slam title at the 2019 US Open. At 17, a transition onto the WTA tour was the obvious next step, even if Osorio felt it was far from a foregone conclusion.
“I remember dreaming about one day playing big opponents and being on the tour, and also playing Grand Slams as a professional,” she told press at the Citi Open after pausing to tie her long hair into a bun. “I didn’t know how possible it would be to achieve it.”
Three years later I see Osorio—formerly María Camila Osorio Serrano, now simply Cami, a Top 100 staple—coming towards the mixed zone after a 7-6 (2), 6-1 win over 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, and she pulls me in for an impromptu hug.
“It’s amazing, everything I’m doing and all the matches I’m playing. I’m still getting used to everything, but I just try to do my best every time I step on court because I’m living my dream.”
It turns out the affable 20-year-old was only briefly halted by the 2020 season’s COVID-19 lockdown, and she would soon begin a march up the rankings that resulted in three WTA finals—and one title, at home in Bogota—and culminated with a Top 40 debut earlier this spring.
Unseeded in D.C., Osorio was playing her first match since retiring from the first round of Wimbledon, where she pulled an adductor muscle late in the third set against Elise Mertens.
I’m really happy with what happened today because I killed myself in every practice that I’ve had, and it’s really paying off. It's not only for now, but for the future, as well. Camila Osorio
“I was sliding on the point for 4-2, and it was unlucky because I was playing a great match and it was a good battle there, unfortunately it had to end like that,” she told me. “That’s part of tennis, so after that I just tried to recover and work hard.
“Sometimes, or I should say all the time, that’s the only thing you can do, just to keep working and try to improve as much as you can. That’s the only thing I’m focused on right now.”
Across the net was Kenin, a former world No. 4 and Australian Open champion—an admittedly nerve-wracking prospect for the starstruck Colombian—but an opponent dealing with even more rust than Osorio, having not played since the Miami Open in March.
“I tried to make her play every point, every ball, so it was one more, one more, every time,” she explained. “I know she’s super tough but I know she’s only just now getting back into tournaments. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I felt that if I was calm and playing every point it would also be tough for her.”
That confidence—plus a proud contingent of Colombian supporters—carried her through a tense opening set, one that saw Kenin come back from 5-2 down and save two set points. Osorio ultimately solved the erratic American in a tiebreaker and rode that momentum through a much easier second set, booking an arguably similar match-up with reigning (but struggling) US Open champion Emma Raducanu.
“I’m really happy with what happened today because I killed myself in every practice that I’ve had,” she says with exuberant emphasis, “and it’s really paying off.
“It’s not only for now, because it’s for the future, as well, but I’m really happy.”
An ardent admirer of Roger Federer—“He knows,” she jokes, pointing towards me when asked about her tennis idols—Osorio expanded on her typically short list as she aims to continue her tennis education while living her professional dream.
“At his moment, I’ll say every player. With all the effort that it takes to play on tour, I admire all of them and I want to learn from all of them, as well.”
Osorio continues to effortlessly blend humility with casual confidence as she later reveals another dream: to add the senior US Open title alongside her junior trophy.
“Of course, every tournament I go to, I want to win it. I’ll go, have fun, and—why not?—win the tournament. I’ll give my best and enjoy every opportunity.”