Insect attack reveals Naomi Osaka is the cutest star in tennis

Naomi Osaka has always been one of the most endearing players in tennis, and her sweet exchange with a rogue butterfly on John Caine Arena has only enhanced that reputation.

Osaka was accosted by a butterfly which flapped around her waist before landing on her leg during a tense moment in the second set on Friday.

After a member of the crowd yelled out to warn her, Osaka calmly scooped up her new companion and walked with it to the side of the court to release it.

Her catch and release backfired on her and the pesky insect flapped around her face before setting down on her nose.

Still unflappable, Osaka calmly picked it up from her nose and set it free.

Right in the face. Photo: AFP.Source:AFP

She had been facing a break point at the time, but seemed to gain some good luck from the butterfly and went on to hold serve and eventually win the third round match over Ons Jabeur.

Osaka was in the kind of form that cements her status as the clear favourite — alongside Aussie Ash Barty — to win this year’s Open as she dusted a spirited Jabeur 6-3 6-2 in 78 minutes.

Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee.Source:Getty Images

The win sets up a super Sunday in the women’s singles draw with Osaka to face red-hot Spaniard Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round. Serena Williams is also playing Aryna Sabalenka on the day of blockbuster matches.

Osaka also had the Melbourne crowd eating out of her palm in her on-court interview after declaring she is a big fan of the “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie – Oi! Oi! Oi!” chant.

Touchdown. Photo: Getty images.Source:Getty Images

As soon as she said it the crowd burst out in an impromptu cheer for the Japanese star.

“Oh my God! Is that longer or something? I don’t remember it being that long,” she said.

“Honestly, I remember the first time I came here and I was 16 or 17, I was watching from the stands and I remember clapping with everyone and it was super fun.”

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