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Naomi Osaka shows what sportsmanship is all about

Naomi Osaka consoles Coco Gauff after defeating her in the US Open
Naomi Osaka consoles Coco Gauff after defeating her in the US Open

Views from the Edge

The No. 1 ranked women’s tennis player Naomi Osaka reminded us what a true champion is supposed to look like Saturday (Aug. 31) at the U.S. Open.

In easily defeating upstart, fan favorite 15-year-old Coco Gauff, Naomi Osaka, 21, won over more fans with her sportsmanship.

Gauff captivated the home crowds at the U.S. Open held in Flushing to reach the third round and set up a dream meeting with Osaka at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

From the outset, Osaka took control, overwhelming the Florida teenager with a strong serve and pinpoint angles. Osaka dominated the youngster, winning the first set 6-3 and silencing the crowd rooting for the underdog Coco.

The second set was even more convincing as Osaka cruised to a 6-0 second set, to seal her spot in the round of 16.

Even though the Arhur Ashe Stadium audience was abuzz about the match everyone wanted to see — the teenage sensation vs. last year’s champion — it was what happened after the match that tennis fans will be talking about.

Osaka, who holds dual citizenship — US and Japanese — gave Coco a warm embrace as the teenager fought off tears.

In an emotional moment for all involved, Gauff laughed at the scene that saw both young women in tears.

“She was crying, she won. I was crying. Everybody was crying. I was like, ‘I don’t know why she was crying. You won the match!'”

Osaka consoled Gauff convincing her opponent to join her in the post-game interview.

Osaka, who speaks from the heart, got misty-eyed too when she addressed Gauff’s family box during the on-court interview. “For me, the fact that both of us made it, and we’re both still working as hard as we can, I think it’s incredible,” she said. “And I think you guys are amazing and I think, Coco, you’re amazing.”

Although there hasn’t been much social interaction between the two players, they know each other because they practice at the same facility in Florida. Their fathers, both of whom coach their daughters, know each other.

“I wasn’t expecting it. I’m glad that I was able to experience that moment,”Gauff told the media afterwards. “She was crying, she won. I was crying. Everybody was crying. But I think it was a good moment for both of us.”

The two young women, both unknown a year ago, represent the future of tennis. Hopefully, they’ll meet each other on the court many times more.

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  1. RE: Naomi Osaka shows what sportsmanship is all about: Naomi Osaka Is such an inspiration especially in these times. I’m not a tennis fan but I will follow and cheer for her. She deserves being commended for her selfless act.


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