Naomi Osaka of Japan plays a shot during her quarter final match against Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019.
AP/Tertius Pickard
Naomi Osaka graces TIME magazine cover
Luisa Morales ( - January 11, 2019 - 4:30pm

MANILA, Philippines — Naomi Osaka made headlines after a title-clinching upset against Serena Williams in the 2018 US Open final. 

The media buzzed about Osaka's win more than usual. After all, the match was marred with controversy.

The umpire had slapped Williams with penalties late in the match and significantly altered the flow of the match. The game's infamy grew even worse when Osaka was met with "boos" from the crowd when she received her trophy. 

The whole fiasco produced commentary from the media and fans alike all over the globe.

For a time, the 21-year-old athlete had everybody's attention.

Now, months after the controversial showdown, Osaka once again grabs everybody's attention -- this time, on the cover of TIME magazine.

Osaka herself posted a copy of the cover on twitter.

TIME senior writer Sean Gregory pens an ode to the rising star, narrating Osaka's journey in the world of tennis, from her humble beginnings to her potential in the future.

Gregory dubs her as "The Heir" with the talent to surpass even Williams, whom she looks up to.

TIME's feature on Osaka is available on the magazine's website and will be available in print on January 21.

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