Tennis player Naomi Osaka has quickly become one of the biggest female superstars in all of sports. The avid Los Angeles Lakers fan is currently third in the WTA rankings and recently advanced to the finals of — and won — the Australian Open.
Winning the tournament final brought Osaka her fourth major singles title and second Australian Open championship in three years. At only 23 years old, Osaka is already becoming a household name.
She has also been known to break out her Lakers gear when she feels it necessary. Last year during the U.S. Open she wore her Kobe Bryant ‘Black Mamba’ edition jersey for extra strength.
Facing off against the greatest women’s tennis player in history, Serena Williams, in the Australian Open semis, Osaka decided to don a Lakers jacket for the same reason.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 18, 2021
It might be superstitious, but it worked for Osaka who dominated Williams 6-3, 6-4 for the victory. Osaka was basically untouchable throughout the entire tournament, losing just one set on her road to the championship.
Though she is third in the overall rankings, Osaka is considered by many to be the best player in the world today. And even with all of that going for her, she looks towards the Lakers as her sign of strength when needed.
The Lakers are one of the most successful franchises in all of sports, with a level of sustained excellence throughout their history that most teams could only dream of. Between the number of championships won, legendary moments, and Hall of Famers who have been part of the franchise, being part of the purple and gold is something most could only dream of.
For Osaka to be at the level she is at in her career, but still find comfort and strength in the Lakers is a true sign of respect and love. She is someone who represents the Mamba Mentality so proudly representing the Lakers on her way to potentially another major championship is the perfect match.
LeBron, Osaka among recipients of 2020 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson Of The Year
Osaka is not only an outstanding tennis player, but like Lakers superstar LeBron James, has also been extremely outspoken during the ongoing battle for social justice. These are among the reasons that both were among the five winners of the 2020 Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year Award.
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