Naomi Osaka shared a heartwarming moment with a young girl at the US Open.© US Open/Instagram
Defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka started her title defence with a straight sets win over Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova on Monday. The Japanese tennis star won the match 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the second round of the tournament. After the win, Osaka shared a heartwarming moment with a young fan. Osaka gifted an Olympic pin to a young girl who was cheering the 23-year-old from the stands. Osaka’s gesture earned her a lot of praise on social media.
Watch the video here:
“I just heard her (young fan) when I was playing my match and she was so cute. So, um… thank you for cheering me on and on. But yeah, in the Olympics, we got little pins that we were supposed to pass around to other players like trading pins. And I wasn’t there (at the Olympics) for a long time so I have a couple in my bag left over. I thought it would be like a nice little memory,” Osaka said.
Fans on Twitter hailed Osaka’s “human spirit”.
“That’s what’s up just love @naomiosaka amazing human spirit,” a fan wrote on Twitter.
That’s what’s up just love @naomiosaka amazing human spirit
— Dre Vin Sanders (@utilizemind2) August 31, 2021
So sweet this moment ! Brava @naomiosaka
— YAYALI (@LlaaniiMaan) August 31, 2021
Naomi is such a sweetheart!
— Prescilla Brown (@brown_prescilla) August 31, 2021
Shes a class act
— Picasso Riveras (@RiverasPicasso) August 31, 2021
The 23-year-old Japanese star could become the first back-to-back US Open women’s champion since Serena Williams, out this year with a torn hamstring, won her third in a row in 2014.
Last year the US Open was held behind closed doors due to coronavirus pandemic but with fans allowed for this year’s tournament, Naomi Osaka said the “energy is unmatched”.
“It felt quite lonely for me,” she said.
“So I’m quite glad to see little kids in the audience and grown ups too. The energy here is unmatched,” she said in the post match interview.
(With AFP inputs)
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