Tokyo — After going from goofball to Grand Slam champion, Naomi Osaka can follow her historic US Open triumph by becoming Japan’s first world No1, Japanese tennis great Kimiko Date has predicted. Though Osaka’s moment of glory was overshadowed by Serena Williams’s meltdown during her stunning 6-2 6-4 upset of her idol at the weekend, the 20-year-old demonstrated she has the game and grit to be a serial winner, Date said. "To play like that in her first Grand Slam final was just amazing," she said. "To keep your cool like that, from the moment you step onto court to the last point, isn’t easy," said the former world No4. "If she continues to develop the way she has over the past two weeks and stays motivated, she can go on to be Japan’s first world No1." Osaka, a self-confessed Pokemon nerd whose playful nature has made her a favourite on the women’s tour, is expected to climb from 19 to seven in the rankings after becoming an unlikely hero in Japan. The first Japanese player, man or...

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