Defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka has penned a heartfelt tribute for Kobe Bryant following his tragic death on Sunday. Bryant and his 13-year old daughter Gianna were among the victims who died in a horrific helicopter clash amidst foggy conditions in Calabasas. Naomi Osaka, who recently crashed out of the Australian Open, wrote a heartbreaking letter for Kobe Bryant and posted it on Twitter post the Lakers legend’s death.
In the hours after it was confirmed that Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among the nine dead in a helicopter crash, tributes began flowing in from around the world. Bryant, who became a tennis fan after his retirement in 2016, mentored Osaka and assembled with her team during the US Open last year. Bryant, having been shoved into the penetrating glare of the public spotlight at a young age, shared his experiences with the upcoming tennis star, who rose to success.
In a letter posted by Naomi Osaka on her official Twitter account, the Japanese star thanked Kobe Bryant for his immense contribution in her life. She added that Bryant was humble and never acted as big as he was. Naomi Osaka further said that she has been lucky to have known him and thanked him for existing. She ended by labelling Kobe Bryant as her brother, her mentor and her inspiration.
Naomi Osaka, who won the Australian Open 2019, crashed out of the 2020 edition in the fourth round. 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff defeated the reigning champion in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in just 67 minutes. The World No.4 would love to put the defeat behind her and get to back to winning ways.