Naomi Osaka Wears Lakers Shirt After Match With Serena Williams
It took winning five matches before getting to play her hero in the semifinals. Four rounds, a quarterfinals, and then the anticipated match between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams.
Osaka beat Willams in two sets (6-3, 6-4). If you didn’t know by now, now you know.
And although she won both sets and almost every set leading up to that match, it wasn’t easy. She ran into Garbiñe Muguruza in the fourth round who won the first set. Osaka then had to win two straight to advance to the quarterfinals. She ended up winning that match in three sets (4-6, 6-4, 7-5), even needing to win seven games in that last set.
Adversity is nothing new for Osaka, though.
According to Arash Markazi: “Kobe Bryant became a mentor for Naomi Osaka when she was dealing with some adversity in 2019. She wore a Kobe Lakers jersey after every match on her way to winning the 2020 US Open. Here she is channeling her Mamba Mentality after beating Serena Williams at the Australian Open.”
And after the match at her post match press conference, Osaka was rocking a Lakers shirt.
You heard it from Osaka: “People don’t remember the runners up I mean you might but the winners name is the one that’s engraved so I think I fight the hardest in the finals and I think that’s where you sort of set yourself apart…the other person won as many matches as you did…it’s like the biggest fight.”
If that’s not ‘mamba mentality’, I don’t know what is.
She’ll be bringing that ‘mamba mentality’ to the championship match against Jennifer Brady not wanting to be that runner-up.
“Believing in yourself is something that’s not always easy to do for anyone, but that was one thing I took from Kobe,” Osaka said to Insider in a February 3 exclusive. “Self-doubt helps nobody, and if you cannot believe in yourself, you cannot expect others to believe in you…he gives me strength…I think about him every day.”
Here’s to having a good day and believing in yourself today!
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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