The world residing in the eastern hemisphere woke up to some devastating news from California, USA. The unexpected demise of Kobe Bryant shattered the 19-time Grand Slam Rafael Nadal and he expressed his grief to the crowd in Melbourne after his fourth-round victory at Australian Open 2020. As a tribute to Bryant, the Spaniard ace was wearing a ‘Lakers’ cap on the court during his post-match interview.
“What can I say. I wake up this morning with this terrible news. Super sad. He (Kobe Bryant) had been one of the greatest sportsmen in history. He deserves a round of big applause. I didn’t spend time with him but I met him,” Rafael Nadal mourned on the Rod Laver Arena.
Before his match on Monday, Rafa sent condolences to his family in the United States.
I woke up this morning with the horrible news of the tragic death of one of the greatest sportsman in the world. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and other passengers. My condolences to his wife and families. I am in shock.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) January 27, 2020
“He always is an inspiration for sport” – Rafael Nadal
The Spaniard Nadal further shared his association with the basketball legend, Bryant and one of his companions was training with him. “I have a very close friend that was playing with him for a very long time. He always told me his spirit, he always wanted more, to increase his level. He always is an inspiration for sport, for the kids. He will be in our hearts and minds for the rest of our lives,” Nadal added.
It was a tough day for Rafael Nadal at Australian Open 2020 after waking up to the traumatic news. The Spaniard tussled for more than three hours against the crowd’s favorite Nick Kyrgios to earn his quarterfinals spot at the Melbourne major.
Nick Kyrgios’ tribute to Kobe Bryant
Before the commencement of the match, Nick Kyrgios was wearing Lakers’ jersey. He loves to play basketball and regularly catches up with NBA matches. The Aussie was holding back is tears before showing up on the Rod Laver Arena and Bryant’s passing away was an emotional moment for him as well.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2020