“SMH”: Naomi Osaka Apologises for the Blunder She Caused During Australian Open 2021 Final

Published 02/28/2021, 5:00 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 20, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady of the U.S. pose with trophies after their final match REUTERS/Loren Elliott


World No. 2 Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open 2021, beating American tennis player Jennifer Brady in the final. The Japanese starlet lifted her fourth Grand Slam title in Melbourne. She is the only player along with Roger Federer and Monica Seles to have won her first four Major finals. After winning the title, she climbed up a spot in the rankings, surpassing Romanian tennis player Simona Halep.

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However, there was an amusing moment during the final match against Brady. During her post-match speech after claiming the title, Osaka asked her opponent if she could refer to her by name ‘Jennifer‘ or if she could call her ‘Jenny’. The American player said that she could call her ‘Jenny.’ After all that, Naomi went ahead and called her ‘Jennifer’, which turned out to be quite amusing.

Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates winning her final match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Naomi Osaka: “I thought I said Jenny, but I said Jennifer”

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Naturally, with the power of social media and the internet, it was a matter of time before the Japanese star was made aware of her blunder. After that, she tweeted ‘SMH’ (shaking my head), which is slang used to convey disappointment or disapproval. She even issued a statement and said, “I just came out here to say I didn’t mean it like that, it wasn’t on purpose. I thought I said Jenny but I said Jennifer, my bad.”

Naomi let everyone on TikTok know this was simply an accident 😅

(via @naomiosaka) pic.twitter.com/Zuo7DNDwgm

— espnW (@espnW) February 28, 2021

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During her journey at the Australian Open this year, Naomi beat her childhood idol, Serena Williams, in the semifinal in straight sets, causing quite a disappointment. In the initial rounds, she beat two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza. During that match, the 23-year-old Japanese sensation won the match after saving match points. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 20, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady of the U.S. embrace after their final match REUTERS/Loren Elliott

As the Indian Wells tournament is postponed, Osaka will feature at the Miami Open. Both the Masters 1000 events were canceled in the previous season with the threat of the COVID-19 looming large.

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Rohan Kollare

522 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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