Naomi Osaka: The Day After The Night Before

WASHINGTON, September 14, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

On the day after Naomi Osaka won her second US Open singles title and third major championship overall, she spent a part of her Sunday doing a photo shoot on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center posing with her US Open trophy. She also explained why she laid down on the court after her victory, looking up at the sky through the open Arthur Ashe Stadium roof. Plus, she shared what wearing Kobe Bryant’s jersey to her final US Open virtual press conference meant to her.

Osaka 22. revealed that she’s been donning a Kobe Bryant jersey all fortnight. She shared what she described as a special friendship with the late NBA star and has drawn inspiration from him.

“I just want to be the type of person that he thought I was going to be,” she said during her Saturday virtual press conference after beating Victoria Azarenka, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the final. “He thought I was going to be great, so hopefully I will be great in the future. Only time will tell.”

As to her thinking behind laying down on the court soon after her win, Osaka said: “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. For me, it was really an incredible moment. I’m really glad I did it.”

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Osaka receives congratulatory texts

After Naomi Osaka won her third major title when she defeated Victoria Azarenka Saturday to win the 2020 US Open women’s singles title, there were plenty of congratulatory texts for her on social media, including from Billie Jean King and LeBron James. Fellow professionals Coco Gauff and Felix Auger-Aliassime left notes on some of her Instagram threads.

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