Naomi Osaka credited Kobe Bryant as a source of motivation during her latest US Open run.
Osaka showed her appreciation to the late Los Angeles Lakers legend in an Instagram post following her victory over Victoria Azarenka in the US Open final, noting she wore his jersey after every match and believes it gave her strength.
In an interview with WSJ Magazine's Elisa Lipsky-Karasz last month, Osaka recalled telling Bryant that she wanted to be like him, to which he responded, "No, be better."
Osaka came from behind to defeat Azarenka 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in Saturday's final. It was the second US Open championship and third Grand Slam title for the 22-year-old.