Naomi Osaka wore a Lakers sweater in tribute to Kobe Bryant after beating Serena Williams because she 'needed some extra strength'
Naomi Osakabeat Serena Williams in straight sets Thursday to advance to the Australian Openfinal.
- The 23-year-old wore a Lakers sweater after the match because she "needed some extra strength."
- Osaka was a mentee of
Kobe Bryant, and she's said the late NBA legend still brings her strength.
Naomi Osaka showed plenty of strength in her Australian Open match on Thursday, but the 23-year-old wanted a little bit more after securing her bid to yet another Grand Slam final.
So, as she typically does, she channeled her late mentor,
"That's not always easy to do for anyone, but that was one thing I took from Kobe," Osaka said in an exclusive interview with Insider earlier this month. "Self-doubt helps nobody, and if you cannot believe in yourself, you cannot expect others to believe in you.""He gives me strength, and I think about him every day," she added.
Osaka will undoubtedly look to embrace Bryant's famous "Mamba Mentality" as she heads into this weekend's Australian Open final. Should the Japanese superstar take down American Jen Brady in Saturday's match, she'll have earned two career Australian Open titles and four of the last six Grand Slam singles championships played on hard courts.
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