Never meet your idols, unless you’re Naomi Osaka, in which case don’t stop at just meeting them: take a selfie!

Such was the case for a then-16-year-old Osaka, who was fresh off a winning WTA tour debut in California. Qualifying for her first main draw in Stanford, the Japanese youngster stunned former US Open champion Samantha Stosur, 4-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5, with a game reminiscent of a young Serena Williams.


“She's everything,” Osaka said at the time, later worrying her fondness for the world No. 1, who was in Stanford as the top seed, had gotten back to her.

“It'd be super creepy,” she explained when asked whether she planned to approach Williams in the players lounge. “I don't know how I'd feel about playing a tournament with someone who was like ‘Oh my God!’”

Osaka nonetheless managed to meet Williams that week, sharing a selfie that would be frequently revisited as she made her own march up the rankings, eventually overcoming her idol in an unforgettable 2018 US Open final.

As tennis fans gear up for a return to hard courts and the US Open swing, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic blessed our timelines with some behind-the-scenes footage of that milestone moment, along with some other photos and video from Osaka’s breakthrough week eight years ago.

At the time, Sports Illustrated reported that Osaka’s next dream selfie was with Beyoncé. The two finally met before the 2020 season began, but no selfie has surfacedlikely leaving us all to wait for a future Met Gala or other equally iconic collaboration.