Naomi Osaka was thrust into the spotlight after her impressive US Open win over Serena Williams. The quiet and reserved 20-year-old made an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday, where she talked about the controversy over her finals match and her favorite things, including her crush on Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan.
DeGeneres asked the first-time Grand Slam champion what was going through her mind when Williams confronted the match’s umpire. Osaka said she was unaware of what was happening in the Arthur Ashe Stadium because it was so loud. She also turned away once Williams became upset because it is something that she learned to do as a younger tennis player.
Although Williams was upset by her loss, Osaka revealed what she whispered to her on the podium. “She said that she was proud of me and that I should know that the crowd wasn’t booing at me,” the 20-year-old said. “At the time, I did … think that they were booing at me. I couldn’t tell what was going on, because it was just so loud in there. It was a little bit stressful.”
Osaka told the show’s host about her favorite things, including the color black, The Office sitcom, Beyoncé and her celebrity crush, Michael B. Jordan. DeGeneres said she would play matchmaker for the two. Although Osaka bashfully refused, a text was sent to Jordan, who responded with a video message for the US Open champion.
“I just wanted to send my love and support and say congratulations,” the actor said. “It’s a big moment for you. The way you carry yourself with such humility and grace is amazing to see.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 12, 2018