Naomi Osaka's 'majestic' moment with butterfly melts hearts

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, a butterfly lands on Naomi Osaka's face at the 2021 Australian Open.
Naomi Osaka's butterfly friend left tennis fans captivated on Friday. Pic: Getty

Naomi Osaka is a fan favourite pretty much wherever she plays tennis but the Japanese star's latest admirer has sent the internet into a spin.

Osaka booked a date with 2020 Australian Open runner-up Garbine Muguruza in the last 16 after a clinical straight sets win on Friday afternoon.

The third seed, champion in Melbourne two years ago, closed out an easy 6-3, 6-2 victory over Tunisian 27th seed Ons Jabeur in 1-hour and 18-minutes on John Cain Arena.

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While the 23-year-old's victory left her legion of fans delighted, it was a wonderful mid-match moment with a butterfly that stole the show.

Play was momentarily halted in the second set when the winged insect decided that it wanted to get upon close and personal with Osaka.

Someone in the crowd could be heard yelling out that there was a butterfly on Osaka's legs before she got ready to serve.

Showing her famously gentle and thoughtful nature, Osaka proceeded to carry the insect to the side of the court, before placing it gently on a towel.

However, the butterfly had other ideas and flew straight onto Osaka's nose, before nestling itself on the cheek of the three-time major winner.

The magical moment melted the hearts of viewers on social media, with many gushing at how fitting it was to happen to Osaka.

Japanese star in ominous form

Osaka, who has dropped just 13 games in her opening three matches, is great friends with Jabeur and said playing against her on John Cain Arena was "really fun".

"I was really nervous and scared because I didn't know if she was gonna hit a drop shot on me, so I felt kind of rushed," Osaka said.

She also thanked the fans for attending on the day it was announced that Melbourne would go into five days' lockdown from midnight, meaning stands will be empty from Saturday.

Naomi Osaka is seen here in action during the third round of the 2021 Australian Open.
Naomi Osaka booked her spot in the Australian Open fourth round in style on Friday. Pic: Getty

"I hope that you guys enjoyed the match and thanks for coming out today."

Australian Open organisers announced Friday that players would compete in a biosecure "bubble" after the host city was ordered into a snap five-day lockdown, with spectators banned.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Muguruza, who lost in the final to Sofia Kenin a year ago, earlier beat Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas 6-1, 6-1 in just 56 minutes to set up the fourth-round clash with Osaka.

with agencies

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