Japanese Tennis Prodigy, Naomi Osaka met with an unexpected guest at Australian Open 2021 match against Ons Jabeur of Tunisia. Social media was in awe of the beautiful moment that was unfolding inside Melbourne Arena. It appeared that a cute little butterfly landed on Osaka and got a bit friendly with her. She was about to serve for the break point but suddenly stopped after noticing a butterfly on her leg. Instead of pushing it aside and resuming the game, she carried the insect to a safe place.
Spectators applauded this kind act by Osaka, who made sure the butterfly was safe before returning to the game. On the same, Australian government announced 5-day lockdown due to nearby outbreak in a quarantine hotel. Yet, the fans were there to watch the match.
Naomi Osaka Wins Hearts Of Many Fans
Tennis fans on social media could not contain their emotions after seeing humanity alive during these miserable times. Ignoring the deadly virus and ominous lockdowns, they reveled in the moment and appreciated the player for displaying kindness.
It was like the butterfly was in love with Osaka like most fans. This moment deserves to be played again and again in slow motion effect.
Some people have called her Disney princess for saving a butterfly from potential harm during the fierce match.
The grand slam champion was not so gentle with her opponent as she proceeded to win the match by huge gap (6-3, 6-2). She’s on a 17-match win streak and will face Garbine Muguruza in a fourth round on Valentine’s day (14th Feb).
The Road To Greatness
In 2019, Osaka reached #1 in Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranking and became first Asian player (male or female) to top the world rankings. As of 2020, she is at #3 has won 6 singles titles in her career; US Open (2020), Australian Open (2019), Toray Pan Pacific Open (2019), China Open (2019), Indian Wells (2018), and US Open (2018).
Osaka is a also three-time Grand Slam champion. First time she did it in US Open 2018 by beating the legendary Serena Williams, while enduring deafening hate from the crowd.
Everyone’s favorite Williams got a point penalty for throwing her racket down in altercation with chair umpire. The game was awarded to Osaka, who broke down in tears and apologized for beating Serena Williams 5-3. An Australian artist made fun of Serena’s anger, but ended up doing racially offensive stuff.
Both got emotional and embraced each other after the match. It was even more emotional for Osaka as she and her sister drew inspiration to play Tennis from the William sisters.
Osaka has also ended the four-year long tenure of Serena Williams as the highest paid female athlete. According to Forbes, the 22-year-old’s wealth for the year of 2020 has reached up to 37 Million USD.
More than 90% of her wealth comes from sponsors rather than prize money. Reportedly, Nike paid her 10 Million USD for endorsements in 2020.
Champion of Social Justice
Naomi Osaka has been brilliant in using her network to call attention towards racial injustice. During the historic Black Lives Matter movement, Osaka also played her part in eliminating inbred racism of America. She abandoned the WTA tournament to protest over police brutality against black American, Jacob Blake.
Following Osaka, the event organizers at WTA also postponed the matches. She used the names of black victims of police violence on her face masks during US Open 2020, which brought increased attention towards the cause. The names include Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Trayvon Martin.
She received a lot of criticism for bringing politics in sports. However, she tweeted to explain how this isn’t political and really important to understand for common people.