‘She did it on purpose!’: Fans pick up on awkward Osaka name gaffe towards opponent Brady after Australian Open win (VIDEO)
Third seed Osaka had too much power for Brady as the 23-year-old won in straight sets at Rod Laver Arena, collecting a fourth Grand Slam title in total and continuing her unbeaten run in finals at Majors.
Rapidly establishing herself as her sport’s biggest star – and already the highest-paid female athlete in the world in any sport – Osaka has become equally popular for her off-court persona.Also on rt.com Queen of Oz: Osaka outguns Brady to win Australian Open as Japanese ace picks up 4th Grand Slam title
Osaka lived up to that with her crowd-pleasing acceptance speech in Melbourne, although fans picked up on an awkward start involving confusion over Brady’s preferred first name.
“First of all, do you like to be called Jenny or Jennifer?” Osaka asked of her rival.
“Jenny,” replied the American – only for Osaka to continue, “OK, firstly I want to congratulate Jennifer.”
Naomi Osaka mid-speech: "Do you like to be called Jenny or Jennifer?"Jennifer Brady: "Jenny"Naomi Osaka: "Firstly, I want to congratulate Jennifer..."— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) February 20, 2021
Naomi Osaka's full acceptance speech:pic.twitter.com/B82afjN1FE— 🕊️‘ciñëphilë 🎋 (@NewtVicky) February 20, 2021
The slip caused amusement among fans who nonetheless praised Osaka for her speech, mostly putting the name gaffe down to nerves.
“It isn't a Naomi Osaka victory without a terrible but earnest and adorable speech,” one fan wrote.
“A mix of not hearing her and being very nervous,” added another.
It isn't a Naomi osaka victory without a terrible but earnest and adorable speech— Shyama Nandakumar ஷ்யாமா நந்தகுமார் (@shyama13) February 20, 2021
Yeah, I thought that too. A mix of not hearing her and being very nervous— Christine Lai (@ChristineLai604) February 20, 2021
“Noo… She did it on purpose,” joked another fan, adding a laughing emoji.
NooShe did it on purpose 😂— Jeezy (@emperorjeezy2) February 20, 2021
Naomi with her own version of this! pic.twitter.com/nvc6qTWzvd— Caramba Carambasson (@Carambasson) February 20, 2021
Osaka went on to praise Brady after the 25-year-old rival American helped put on an entertaining meeting of two big hitters at Rod Laver Arena.
“We played in the semifinals of the US Open and I told everyone after that that you were going to be a problem…to see your growth over the past few months is really cool,” Osaka said of her rival.
“I for sure know that your mom and friends and family are very proud of you. I know we're going to play a lot more matches.”
With matches Down Under playing out amid limited fan attendance due to the Covid pandemic, Osaka said it had been a “privilege” to compete at the tournament considering the difficult circumstances.
“Lastly but not least, thank you to you guys,” Osaka told the adoring crowd. “Thank you for coming and watching. To have this energy really means a lot.
“Thank you for opening your hearts and arms towards us. I feel like playing a Grand Slam right now is a privilege, and thank you for this opportunity.”
Osaka’s speech capped a warm ending to another successful Grand Slam campaign for the star, who became the first woman since Monia Seles in 1991 to win each of her first four appearances in Major finals.
Osaka extended her winning streak to 21 matches, and while she will remain behind Australia’s Ash Barty in the overall WTA rankings, there is little doubt that the Japanese star is the queen when it comes to the hard courts.