22-year-old Osaka came back from a set down against Victoria Azarenka to power back to claim her third major title (and second US Open), extending to an 11-match winning streak since the professional tour resumed in recent weeks. 

The Japanese appears to be displaying a newfound resiliency on the court, as well as becoming vocal towards the various social justice causes which bled into global sport in recent months and using her platform to campaign for ‘Black Lives Matter’ as well as wearing face-masks noting the names of people who died in confrontations with police.

Speaking afterwards, Osaka said that her political statements were intended to incite debate.

Well what was the message that you got was more the question. I feel like the point is to make people start talking,” she said at the presentation ceremony when asked about her motivations for the outspoken face coverings.

Elaborating further, Osaka said that she draws significant inspiration from Kobe Bryant and says that she hopes her actions both in and out of professional sport would have been endorsed by the former Los Angeles Lakers star.

The quarantine definitely gave me a chance to think a lot about things, what I want to accomplish, what I want people to remember me by. I came into this tournament with that mindset. I think it definitely helped me out.

I feel like at this point there are certain things that I do that I hope can make him proud,” she said.

It’s keeping his legacy alive for me. I think it’s amazing how one person can inspire so many people. I just want to be the type of person that he thought I was going to be. He thought I was going to be great, so hopefully I will be great in the future.”

Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on January 26. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

‘I’m going to try my best, but anything is possible’: Novak Djokovic admits he can’t guarantee he won’t strike out again

The world No. 1, who was eliminated from the tournament he was a big favorite to win, and while he has made clear that he never intended for his hit out in frustration to strike an official, he admitted he…

Predicting how LASK vs Manchester United will play out tonight

Manchester United travel to Austria for the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 clash with LASK on Thursday. As with several other matches throughout UEFA competitions this week, the game will take place without fans in the stadium.…

How to pause your BT Sport subscription

The coronavirus has ensured there is barely any live sport around the world right now. Fans are therefore deprived of live action with broadcasters left in a desperate situation and currently limited to showing repeats and documentaries until leagues resume.…

Organizers moot plan for limited spectators

TOKYO-Next year’s coronavirus-postponed Olympics could be held in front of a “limited number of spectators” to prevent the spread of infection, Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto has said. The Tokyo 2020 Games are now scheduled to open on July…