Around the world, there has been an outpour of admiration and sadness for the late Kobe Bryant who tragically passed away alongside his daughter in a helicopter accident on Sunday.
Yesterday, Melbourne paid witness to an intense clash between tennis greats, Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal. Kyrgios paid a touching tribute to the athletic inspiration by sporting Bryant’s Lakers jersey throughout his match.
Kyrgios often viewed as the bad guy of Tennis, showed his true colours through his emotional match yesterday, the thrilling play ended in defeat for Kyrgios with the four sets, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(4) leaving victory for Nadal.
Kyrgios admitted that in the fourth set he was at his breaking point, “I thought about the things that Kobe stood for and what he wants to be remembered about.” Kyrgios continued to share his praise for Bryant and made clear the impact he played on his own sporting career. “The way he trained, the way he played and the way he did other things. He was just special.”
Long-time rival and his opponent for yesterday’s match, Nadal, shared his own appreciation towards Kyrogis’ play stating,“He’s one of the highest talents that we have on our tour.”
Kyrogis, despite the emotion shadowing his play, captured the hearts on the audience and gave it his all, leaving in tears over his idols passing he showed the emotional side to tennis’ bad boy.