MAMBA LOVE! Naomi Osaka Pays Tribute to Late Kobe Bryant on His Special Day

Published 08/23/2021, 6:30 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 2 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 26, 2021. Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates after winning her second round match against Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland REUTERS/Mike Segar


NBA legend Kobe Bryant would have turned 43 today. Unfortunately, he lost his life in an accident and since then, there has been a void in the basketball world which no other player has been able to fill. Not just NBA players, Kobe has inspired many other athletes including Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka.

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In a recent tweet, Naomi Osaka posted a picture of Kobe Bryant. It was her tribute to the NBA star on what would have been his 43rd birthday anniversary.

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In the picture, one can see Kobe celebrating a win wearing his yellow Los Angeles Lakers jersey. In many previous interviews, Osaka highlighted that she has been a huge fan of Bryant.

On January 26, 2020, Bryant lost his life in a helicopter crash. Along with him, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other people including the crew members died in the accident.

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Naomi Osaka in the 2021 tennis season

Osaka began the season on a high as she won her fourth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open 2021. It was her second Australian Open title and the Japanese climbed to the No.2 spot in the WTA rankings soon after her achievement.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 2 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 26, 2021. Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during her second round match against Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland REUTERS/Mike Segar

However, the rest of her season has not been that spectacular. The 23-year-old failed to make a mark at the Miami Open 2021 and then withdrew from the French Open 2021 after winning the first match, citing mental health issues. Surprisingly, she then decided not to play at the Wimbledon Championships 2021.

After a long break, Osaka fmade a comeback at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 but failed to win a medal there. Interestingly, she didn’t succeed at either the National Bank Open or the Cincinnati Masters 2021.

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Naomi Osaka will be heading to the US Open 2021 now where she’ll have to defend her title. Fans have huge expectations from her and want her to deliver some amazing performances there. Will she be able to lift her fifth major in New York this year?

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Anshul Singh

1262 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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