Naomi Osaka won her fourth grand slam title overnight, beating America’s Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3 in the Australian Open final, but it was a moment in her post-match presentation that went viral, as she either accidentally or deliberately messed up her opponent’s name.
Mid-speech, Naomi Osaka paused and turned to her opponent and asked if she prefers to be called Jenny or Jennifer. Brady went ahead and responded “Jenny”, and Osaka, either not hearing her or not caring, said “firstly, I want to congratulate Jennifer…”
Now, she’s addressed this most wholesome of slip-ups, clarifying that while it may have come across as super shady behaviour from the champ, it was actually just an honest mistake wrapped up in her trademark politeness.
“I promise you my mind thought I called her Jenny in that moment and I was so confused why the crowd was laughing,” Osaka wrote on Twitter on Sunday arvo.
“I’m so sorry.”
Omg no 😭😩 I promise you my mind thought I called her Jenny in that moment and I was so confused why the crowd was laughing. I’m so sorry 😣 https://t.co/fqS3nPBb1C
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) February 21, 2021
Queen, we believe you. After all, Osaka did go on to praise her opponent, saying: “I told everyone who would listen that you’re going to be a problem, and I was right … I think we’re going to play a lot more matches, so here’s to that.”
@balake3005#ausopen Power play #naomiosaka #tennis♬ Frolic (From “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) – London Music Works
The Japanese player has now won all four major finals she’s appeared in, taking home two wins each in the Australian and US Opens. She is also the first woman since Monica Selles way back in the early 1990s to win all four of her first grand slam finals.
While Naomi Osaka is on the rise, she is uncomfortable being referred to as the new Serena Williams, and when a reporter asked if Serena’s position has begun to “shift” after she emerged victorious from their clash, she said “no, not at all.”