Naomi Osaka continued her round of appearances on US television, interviewed on The Ellen Show on Wednesday.
Ellen quickly discovered for herself the Japanese star’s quirky, slightly awkward persona during interviews.
“Gee, you seem so outgoing and boistrous,” she joked, after Osaka admitted she read some notes reminding her what to say during the trophy presentation in New York because “I’m not very good at talking”.
The interview quickly moved away from tennis talk and into some juicier topics.
“Celebrity crush? Come on, you can make it happen. You’re very famous now,” Ellen said.
“I don’t know his name,” Osaka responded. “But he was in Black Panther, but he was the villain.”
“Do you want me to text him right now?” Ellen asked.
Despite Osaka’s protests, Ellen snapped a selfie of the two of them and sent it to Michael B. Jordan – the Black Panther villain – who, later, responded.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 12, 2018
Following her US Open victory, Osaka vaulted to world No.7 – her first appearance inside the world’s top 10.
She won US$3.8 million, a cheque she told Ellen she would rather spend on her parents than herself.
She said that gift to her parents would probably come in the form of a big television – but Ellen ended up giving her a TV as a gift.
“Now don’t have to spend any money,” the host said.
“You’re adorable. Thank you for being here, and congratulations. You’re amazing.”
Osaka has since flown to Japan, where she was greeted by a media pack at the airport in Tokyo.
She will play next week’s Pan Pacific Open in the same city.