Naomi Osaka and Jannik Sinner have earned recognition from animal rights organization PETA for their acts of kindness during the 2021 Australian Open. Osaka and Sinner both displayed 'respect for the insects' that interrupted their matches in Melbourne, and that moved the animal rights organization to crown them the 'PETA Australian Open champions'.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 6.5 million members and supporters. And according to a news release from PETA Australia, framed awards are headed towards Naomi Osaka and Jannik Sinner after the end of the Melbourne Slam.
During her third-round win over Ons Jabeur at the Australian Open, a butterfly landed on Oska's leg. The Japanese star then gently escorted the insect off the court - a video clip of which went viral on social media.
Osaka also posted an image of herself with the butterfly on her social media handles.
This is not the first time that PETA has given a shout out to the Japanese player. The animal rights organization had also recognized a similar effort from Osaka at the Miami Open in 2019.
Meanwhile, Jannik Sinnner was commended for stopping play during the third set of his first-round match against Denis Shapovalov. Sinner took a short break to attend to a moth, using his racket to gently guide the insect in the direction of the chair umpire.
PETA described both Naomi Osaka and Jannik Sinner as 'compassionate athletes', and asserted that insects deserve to be treated with kindness.
"We take our visors off to these compassionate athletes for displaying respect for the insects who made their way onto the courts and making sure the animals weren’t injured during the match. Moth and butterflies are sentient beings, and as these lovely tennis champs demonstrated, deserve our kindness and compassion – as all animals do," PETA Australia stated on its website.
Naomi Osaka to take on Jennifer Brady in the Australian Open women's final on Saturday
Naomi Osaka will be back to the court on Saturday, to take on Jennifer Brady in the women's singles final of the Australian Open. Osaka overcame Serena Williams 6-3, 6-4 in the first semi-final on Thursday, while Brady needed three sets to defeat Karolina Muchova in the second one.
This will be the fourth meeting between the two players, with Osaka leading their head-to-head 2-1. The pair's most recent clash came during the semi-final of the 2020 US Open, which the Japanese won in three sets.
Naomi Osaka is bidding to win her fourth Grand Slam singles title on Saturday, while Brady will be aiming to capture her first.