New York: Japan's Naomi Osaka on Sunday won her third career Grand Slam title after defeating Victoria Azarenka in the final of the US Open.
Osaka registered a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win in the decider over Azarenka. The No. 4 seed and 2018 champion overcame an inspired assault from Azarenka in the opening set to win her third career Grand Slam crown after one hour and 53 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Osaka is now the first Asian player to win three Grand Slam singles titles, breaking the tie she held with China's Li Na. She is also the first woman to win her first three Grand Slam finals since Jennifer Capriati.
Meanwhile, in her post-match press conference, Naomi Osaka donned basketball legend Kobe Bryant's jersey. The 22-year-old tennis star has long described Bryant as one of her biggest role models.
Speaking about Bryant, Osaka 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 and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the nine people killed when a helicopter they were travelling in crashed amid foggy conditions and burst into flames in the hills above Calabasas in January this year.
The basketball legend had won five National Basketball Association (NBA) championships in his 20-year-long career while playing for Los Angeles Lakers.
(With ANI inputs)