Fresh off the heels of her stunning win over Serena Williams in the U.S. Open Women’s Final this past Saturday, Naomi Osaka revealed that two artists, in particular, were able to help her get into beast mode: Eminem and Nicki Minaj.
Osaka admits that she is superstitious with regards to the music she tunes in to before her matches. She said she’ll listen to the same musician repeatedly beforehand until she loses.
In the matches leading up to her Final against Williams, Osaka told People, “I listened to Nicki Minaj’s new album [Queen].” Then, on August 31, Eminem surprised everyone, including Osaka, with the release of his tenth studio album Kamikaze. As superstitious as she is, the 20-year-old athlete couldn’t help, but regularly bump that project too. “And then Eminem dropped a new album so I was switching between those two,” she said. “I’m genuinely more into hip-hop and rap.”
Osaka’s triumph put her in the history books as the first-ever Japanese-Haitian Grand Slam champion. Amid her Women’s Final match, Williams was given a game penalty by seat umpire Carlos Ramos for verbal mishandle. Serena dragged the umpire for taking a point from her, and the audience reacted later on by perceptibly booing all through the service.