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The athlete said that she believed she had a chance to beat Williams during the match. “I wouldn’t play a match without thinking I had a chance,” she said. “The back of my mind, I thought so.”
DeGeneres jokingly explained the controversy that happened during the match. “So Serena got some calls,” she began. The host was referring to Williams’ fines for incidents during the match, including an outburst at a referee.
“When you’re little, you’re taught not to look at, like, if your opponent gets angry or anything,” Osaka said. “You’re told to just turn around and try to focus, so I tried to do that, but in my mind I was sort of — like I really wanted to know what was going on.”
She continued, “I couldn’t hear and I was looking away, but I heard a lot of people in the crowd making noises, and I really wanted to turn around, but I didn’t.”
The host then mentioned that while the crowd was booing, Williams leaned over to say something to Osaka. “She said that she was proud of me and that I should know that the crowd wasn’t booing at me,” she said. “So I was really happy with what she said.”
Osaka admitted that she thought the crowd might have been booing at her during the match. “At the time, I did kind of think they were booing at me,” she said. “I couldn’t tell what was going on because it was just so loud in there, so it was a little bit stressful.”
DeGeneres mentioned that she saw Osaka hiding under a towel following the match. “I was reading what I should say just in case for my speech because I’m not very good at talking,” she said.
The host then tried to get to know more about Osaka, including her favorite color, favorite show and favorite singer. DeGeneres then tried to play matchmaker and set her up with Michael B. Jordan, who Osaka said is her celebrity crush. After Osaka told DeGeneres to not text Jordan, the host responded, “I’m just trying to help.”
The two then spoke about Osaka’s plans for her $3.8 million in prize money. “I would rather buy my parents something,” Osaka said after DeGeneres suggested she buy herself a car. “I’m gonna buy them a TV so that they can watch your show.”
The segment concluded with Osaka and DeGeneres taking a selfie to send to Jordan, as well as the host gifting the athlete a new television to give to her parents. “You’re stressing me out. I’m too young to be stressed out like this,” Osaka said as the host texted Jordan.
Watch the full interview above.
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