US Open champion Naomi Osaka has left reporters scratching their heads with another bizarre series of comments in a hilarious post-match interview.
Osaka touched on a range of topics such as what personal trait annoys her the most, why she doesn’t really have a shopping problem and how she is not much of a hugger.
The hilarious press conference came after Osaka called for the trainer and took a tablet during her dominant second round win over unseeded Slovenian Tamara Zidansek at the Australian Open.
She also declined to reveal any details of her ailment when pressed by reporters.
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The first player from an Asian country to win the US Open singles title, Osaka was hampered by a back injury toward the end of last season and withdrew from the Sydney International lead-up event.
Osaka called for the trainer and took medication when leading 2-1 in the second set against Zidansek but otherwise appeared in rude health as she bashed her way to a rousing 6-2 6-4 win.
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) January 17, 2019
“I was able to finish and win the match, so it’s not that big of a deal,” the Japanese 21-year-old told reporters.
“It’s something that I have to keep an eye on. I’m not telling you, though.
“You’ll never guess. You’ll never find out,” she added with a smile.
After her cheekily coy response to questions about her injury, Osaka then revealed her awkward side and in particular, her discomfort with people who like to hug.
“The thing is, I’m used to handshakes. Every time someone comes for a hug, I’m very confused,” she said.
“I’m told that I give out the worst hugs, too.
“It’s not necessarily the best situation for me to try to hug someone unless I really know them. And I don’t really know anybody, so.”
Osaka said she still felt too new to the tour to feel comfortable hugging her rivals after matches and preferred a handshake-first policy.
Osaka, who will play Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei for a place in the fourth round, gave a second serving of joy to Japanese fans, who had watched compatriot Kei Nishikori close out a five-set cliffhanger against Ivo Karlovic on the previous match at Margaret Court Arena.
Osaka ran into Nishikori, Asia’s first male Grand Slam finalist when he made the 2014 U.S. Open title-decider, when walking in the tunnel through to the court before her match.
“I told him, ‘Nice match’. He looked very tired. I was just like, ‘Oh, excuse me, I’ll get out of your way. You had a very, very long match. I had to warm up four times, so thank you for that.'”