Tony Jones has been lashed on social media for what has been described as a “patronizing” and “embarrassing” interview with Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka.
Jones, who headed up Channel 9’s coverage for the women’s final on Saturday night, was slammed as “terrible” and “cringeworthy”.
Osaka, 21, walked from Rod Laver Arena to the Channel 9 set – next to Margaret Court Arena – with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in hand after her second grand slam victory in six months, only for Jones to say that he was “not sure how you carried it all this way”.
As Osaka awkwardly searched for a response, he exclaimed “there’s the smile”.
“I’m always smiling,” the Japanese star said.
He then proceeded to ask Osaka how she planned to spend her $ 4.1 million prize cheque, declaring “we would love you to pump that back into the economy”, and was criticized on Twitter for his handling of a question regarding Osaka’s heritage.
“Your grandparents back at Japan and you left Japan as three and you still regard yourself as a Japanese player,” he said.
“It took a time for your grandparents that you and your sisters wanted to play tennis and they finally came on board.”
As he crossed to the break, Jones was further whacked for saying that the “mixed singles” would be up next.
The match to follow was the mixed doubles final, featuring Australians Astra Sharma and John-Patrick Smith.
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