Kobe, BLM & a Few Laughs: Osaka’s Post-Win Quotes Earn Her Praise
Naomi Osaka won on, and off, the court today!
Japan’s Naomi Osaka completed a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in the women's singles final to win her second US Open title and third Grand Slam title in New York on late Saturday night.
The 22-year-old had beaten Serena Williams to win the 2018 US Open, followed it up with winning the 2019 Australian Open and eventually became World No 1.
While the fourth seed earned a lot of praise for her performance on the court, Osaka also won hearts with the comments she made after her win.
‘Point is to Make People Start Talking’
For every match in the championship, Osaka sported facemasks with names of African Americans who have been victims of racial injustice or police brutality in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. When asked what message she was hoping to send with this, Naomi responded saying, “Well, what was the message you got?”.
“The point is to make people start talking,” she said at the awards ceremony.
‘Want To Be the Type of Person Kobe Bryant Thought I Would Be’
For the post-match press conference, Naomi donned the late basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s LA Lakers jersey.
"I just want to be the type of person that he (Kobe Bryant) thought I was going to be. He thought I was going to be great, so hopefully, I will be great in the future,” she said.
In a post on her social media, Osaka revealed that she wore the jersey every day after her matches. “I truly think it gave me strength,” she wrote.
‘Don’t Want to Play You in More Finals’
During the victory ceremony, Osaka told Azarenka, “I actually don’t want to play you in more finals. I didn’t really enjoy that. That was a really tough match for me. And yes, really inspiring for me because I used to watch you play here when I was younger so just to have the opportunity to play you is really great and I learned a lot.”
‘I Wanted to Collapse Safely After Winning’
When asked why she had returned to the court to lay on it after shaking hands with her opponent, Osaka said:
“I always see everyone sort of collapse after match point, but I always think you may injure yourself, so I wanted to do it safely. I was thinking about all the times I’ve watched the great players sort of collapse onto the ground and look up into the sky. I’ve always wanted to see what they saw.”
Twitter Lauds Osaka
Twitter heaped praise on Osaka for the social stance she had taken throughout the tournament as well as her tribute to Bryant.
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