It’s not a hidden fact Haitian-Japanese tennis champion Naomi Osaka is a Serena Williams fan. As a matter of fact, the Australian Open champion credits her love for and interest in the game to Williams, who is arguably the greatest female tennis player of all-time.
For the 22-year-old, Williams will always be her idol and role model no matter what, and she has re-echoed these sentiments on numerous occasions, with Wednesday being the most recent.
Osaka joined Williams and a host of other tennis stars for a charity tennis match in Melbourne, Australia, to raise funds for the devastating bush fires.
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Osaka posed for photos and videos with several of her colleagues including Williams and shared on her Instagram and Twitter platforms.
For her photo with Williams which was taken while both stars were seated, she captioned it: “Me and my mom lol.”
The photo, which subsequently went viral did not sit down too well with some people who had issues with Osaka calling Williams her mom.
“I don’t like her calling Serena her mom. It signifies that Serena is some old woman,” a user on Twitter said.
“I can understand you admire Serena from an athletic standpoint but personally I feel that you are presently in a better position on a personal path compared to the route that she has taken with some of her actions and statements. She should only be an athletic inspiration,” another tweet said.
“I think this is disrespectful to Serena. Yes Serena is much older than Naomi but girl have some class and respect! Serena is a legend and I think your comment is passive aggressive and mean spirited. Serena is NOT your mom she is your competition,” said another user.
More chimed, in seemingly giving their two cents on the caption.
“You saying Serena is old!! :p,” tweeted another.
Besides issues with her caption, others also pitched them against each other as to who is more good looking. Osaka was, however, quick to shut down the trolls by replying one of the comments on Instagram in a very classy way.
“I literally would not be here without her. If that’s not some definition of mom idk what is. But sure, get offended by my internet slang I guess,” she replied.
Despite the unwarranted barrage she received which she classily and quickly brushed off her shoulders, the charity match was highly successful with the event reportedly raising almost $5 million for the relief efforts.