Naomi Osaka Honors Kobe Bryant After Winning US Open

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Naomi Osaka honored Kobe Bryant after her US Open victory, Saturday, by rocking a black and yellow number 8 Kobe jersey.

Naomi Osaka, Kobe Bryant, US OpenMatthew Stockman / Getty Images

“I wore this jersey every day after my matches. I truly think it gave me strength. Always,” she wrote on Instagram. She expanded in a press conference after her victory saying, “I just want to be the type of person that he thought I was going to be. He thought I was going to be great, so hopefully, I will be great in the future.”

Osaka, 22, secured her second US Open victory after a comeback against Victoria Azarenka in 3-sets.

After winning, Osaka was also asked about the masks she’s been seen wearing during the tournament, which display the names of victims of police brutality and racially motivated violence. “The point,” Osaka said, “is to make people start talking.” Her masks have included the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile, and Tamir Rice.

Rapper Cordae, who is dating Osaka, was in attendance for her victory, rocking a black “Defund The Police” t-shirt. The couple began dating in early 2019. Cordae was reportedly very active in attendance, pumping his fists throughout the match.

[Via]