The demise of NBA legend Kobe Bryant left the world in utter disbelief. People from all over the world paid tributes to Bryant, which included the tennis community. While many took to social media to pay homages to the legend, a few players expressed themselves on the court at the Australian Open. Most notably, Nick Kyrgios showed his emotions as he was entering for the fourth round clash against Rafael Nadal. Among others, 15-year old Coco Gauff paid tribute to the Bryant.
The American pair of Coco Gauff and Caty McNally were to play Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara in the fourth round of the women’s doubles category. Gauff was seen coming into the match with the number 24 (Kobe Bryant’s jersey number) written on her shoes.
Coco Gauff and Caty McNally dedicate their win to Kobe Bryant
After going down in the first set, the Gauff and McNally came back to win crucial points and claim the match 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. At the end of the match, the American duo said they were heartbroken and dedicated their win to the basketball great.
“When we heard the news, we were both heartbroken. We both looked up to him. Even speaking about it right now is a bit emotional. We had to do something for him and I know he’s looking down on us right now,” Gauff said.
— Nikhila (@kokudum) January 27, 2020
Gauff and McNally into the #AusOpen
Win dedicated to Kobe Bryant.
’24’ & ‘8’ pic.twitter.com/hQal1Mj6E4
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 27, 2020
Gauff had also tweeted to pay homage to Bryant after the news of his helicopter crash came out.
— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) January 26, 2020