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US Open champion Naomi Osaka has cracked up the press gallery with a brilliant response to a truly ridiculous question.
The journalist with a thick Spanish accent couldn’t quite get his head around the fact that the 20-year-old shared a last name with the city of her birth, a city of roughly three-million people in Japan.
“Your last name is Osaka, you were born in Osaka, which is a bit strange, because your father is Haitian,” the journalist asked.
“So how come that your last name is the same name of the city, you should have the last name of your father?
The journalist clearly thought Osaka had been named after her home city, and the US Open champion was playing along.
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“We’re recycling a joke from 2014, everyone who was born in Osaka, their last name is Osaka, ay…” the 20-year-old said with a wry smile.
“Is that true?” The stunned reporter responded.
That’s when Osaka realised her joke clearly wasn’t getting across to this reporter.
“Noooooo, my mum’s last name is Osaka, (my name is from) her side of the family,” she said.
The Serena question that made Osaka break down
Tournament champion Naomi Osaka couldn’t handle a tricky question in her post-US Open final press conference.
The 20-year-old star from Japan had just won her first ever Grand Slam, but it was a night unfortunately dominated by sadness and tears, as she saw her idol Serena Williams melt down in a battle with the umpire.
Following her two-set victory in New York, Osaka apologised to fans, as she held back tears.
“I know everyone was cheering for her and I’m sorry it had to end like this,” Osaka said.
“It was always my dream to play Serena in the U.S. Open finals. … I’m really grateful I was able to play with you.”
The reaction was heartbreaking to many tennis fans and experts, in what should have been the proudest moment of the hard-hitting youngster’s life, she felt the need to apologise.
One journalist was clearly confused by Osaka’s thought process, and posed a tricky question to the star who’d just earned a AU$5.3m winner’s check.
“Why did you feel like you needed to apologise for doing what you set out to do?” The journalist asked.
“Your question is making me emotional,” Osaka said before a pause.
“OK, because I know she really wanted to ave the 24th Grand Slam, right? Everyone knows this: It’s on the commercials, it’s everywhere.
“When I step onto the court, I feel like a different person, right? I’m not a Serena fan: I’m just a tennis player playing another tennis player.
“But then when I hugged her at the net … anyway, when I hugged her at the net, I felt like a little kid again, so, sorry…”
At that point Osaka couldn’t hold back the tears.
The Japanese star doesn’t think any less of her tennis hero despite the drama of the US Open final.
“The thing is, like, I don’t know what happened on the court. So for me, I’m always going to remember the Serena that I love,” Osaka said.
“It doesn’t change anything for me. She was really nice to me, like, at the net and on the podium. I don’t really see what would change,” said Osaka, who has long looked up to Williams.
“When I was growing up, I did a whole report on her in third grade. I coloured it and everything. I said, ‘I want to be like her.’ [I might still have it] in a folder at home or something. I’m not sure.”