An hilarious video of a young Naomi Osaka has surfaced online, leaving the Japanese star mildly embarrassed.
The US Open champion quickly rose to fame after her epic Grand Slam victory over Serena Williams, and she has become a fan favourite that keeps on giving with her quirky style.
The now 20-year-old Osaka shared the video of her younger self on Twitter, with a brutally honest comment above it.
“I always knew this would come back to haunt me. I just never knew when,” Osaka tweeted.
But it couldn’t be haunting her too much, because her share of the video was quick to receive an influx of engagement – with fans lauding the adorable clip.
Osaka is seen in the video explaining the rules of the game, before taking part in an epic chopstick battle.
“Hey, this is a chopstick battle. It’s where you put ten beans into the bowl and take them back out again using only chopsticks,” a ten-year-old Osaka said.
Fast forward through a two-minute clip of the battle, and a young Osaka prevails victorious – revealing a winning mentality from an early age.
Home videos aside, Osaka has displayed maturity beyond her years in assessing the drama that overshadowed her maiden Grand Slam victory.
Speaking in Japan, Osaka opened up on a question that crossed the minds of many tennis fans who witnessed the heartbreaking moment the 20-year-old broke down crying in the dramatic aftermath to her idol Serena Williams’ meltdown.
“Do you feel a little bit sad maybe that you were unable to enjoy the moment, your first Grand Slam, because of perhaps Serena’s drama?” a journalist asked Osaka.
Osaka’s response was classy and focused on the positives.
“I don’t feel sad because I wouldn’t even know what I’m expected to feel because I feel like since it was my first final and it was my first Grand Slam victory, overall I felt really happy and I know that I accomplished a lot,” Osaka said.
“I don’t think I even thought about feeling sad because there’s no experience for me to draw on, on any other Grand Slam final win.”
The young Japanese star initially addressed Serena’s meltdown in an interview with American broadcaster NBC, explaining she was sad after seeing her idol in such an agitated state during the second set of the US Open final.
“I felt a little bit sad because I wasn’t really sure if [the crowd] were booing at me or if it wasn’t the outcome that they wanted,” Osaka said on NBC’s Today.
“I also could sympathise because I’ve been a fan of Serena my whole life and I knew how badly the crowd wanted her to win. I don’t know, I was just really emotional up there.
“I felt like everyone was sort of unhappy up there and I know that it wasn’t really… the ending wasn’t what people wanted it to be.
“In my dreams, I won in a very competitive match, so I don’t know, I just felt very emotional and I felt like I had to apologise.”
Williams was initially angered at being issued a code violation by umpire Carlos Ramos after a gesture from Patrick Mouratoglou in the player’s box was deemed to be coaching, contravening grand slam rules that do not apply on the WTA Tour.
The American was then handed a point penalty for smashing her racquet as she trailed in the second set and, after calling Ramos a “liar” and a “thief”, she was docked a game.
An outraged Williams claimed she was being treated differently to male players while boos rang down from the stands of Arthur Ashe Stadium, before continuing the match in tears.
Osaka kept her composure to complete a 6-2 6-4 triumph, but the start of the trophy presentation was met with further jeers, resulting in Japan’s first major champion crying and apologising to spectators.
Williams, who missed a chance to claim a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title, refused to answer questions during the presentations but asked the crowd to stop booing and congratulate Osaka in her moment of glory.
“I felt really happy because she knew I was crying and she was saying some things and it just made me happy overall,” Osaka said.