Cori “Coco” Gauff hailed Naomi Osakas sportsmanship and branded the world No. 1 a true athlete after she was encouraged by her opponent to do joint post-match interview on court.
The American teenager saw her New York dream ended by the top seed on Saturday night in a 6-3 6-0 defeat but Osaka was mindful of Gauffs surroundings, encouraging her to bid farewell to her home crowd in an unusual move.
Both were left tearfull as they addressed a jampacked Arthur Ashe Stadium in a touching moment that saw even the most hardened New Yorkers well up somewhat.
Gauff had protested to Osaka that she didnt want to give a post-match speech but was grateful that the world No. 1 convinced her otherwise.
After the match, I think she just proved that shes a true athlete, Gauff said in remarkably eloquent fashion for a teenage sports star. For me the definition of an athlete is someone who on the court treats you like your worst enemy but off the court can be your best friend. I think thats what she did tonight.
I think she really showed sportsmanship tonight. I mean, I wasnt expecting it. Im glad that I was able to experience that moment. Im glad the crowd was kind of helping me and her.