Former numero uno women’s tennis player Naomi Osaka paused her match in the Australian Open on Monday to avoid stepping on a Melbourne logo on the court.
The 24-year-old was in the middle of her match against Colombia’s Camila Osorio when she was caught on film walking towards the court and stepping onto the slogan on the area outside court at Rod Laver Arena. In the footage shared by Insider, she then turns back around and hops over it back and forth.
It’s kinda cute ngl.
Osaka admitted during the press conference after the game that the move was based on a superstition of hers she’s had every time she’s competed here.
“Honestly, I’ve always been like that,” she said.
“Every time I come here, I really don’t like stepping on the lines or the Melbourne logo in the back. I’m not really sure why that developed.
“But I would say that most athletes have very strong superstitions.”
Osaka was also asked about her on-court superstition during the Australian Open in 2021 and referenced the old saying “step on a crack you break your mother’s back”. Her mum must be so proud.
But it’s not just cracks and lines on the floor that bug her. Osaka added that she needs her water bottles to be “completely straight” too.
“I’m not sure why that is,” she said.
Superstitions or no, Osaka ended her game against Osorio with a 6-3, 6-3 victory. She then went on to beat America’s Madison Brengle on Wednesday with a victory of 0-6, 4-6.
Legendary sporting hero Andy Murray tweeted in support of Naomi after her recent victory which she described to reporters after the game as “surreal”.
Anyone hit the ball cleaner from the baseline than @naomiosaka ? 🔥
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) January 19, 2022
“It definitely means a lot for me,” she said via The Guardian.
“It was a really cool moment and it’s a little bit shocking because when you’re playing you never really think about the TV is broadcasting it and that other people are watching.
“I hit with him three years ago and it’s a memory that’s really dear to me. It was really cool to have someone like him talk about my game.”
She’ll compete in her third round at The Australian Open on Friday night against America’s Amanda Anisimova. Good luck babes! Not that you’ll need it.