Tells rising star it’s OK to cry, and does plenty of it herself.

Last Sunday, 15-year-old American tennis player Coco Gauff was standing on the court, about to begin her third-round match at the US Open. That’s an incredible accomplishment for such a young athlete, but unfortunately she would be facing Osaka-born Naomi Osaka, the top-ranked women’s player in the world, who herself became a household name among tennis fans with her stunning victory one year ago in the 2018 US Open.

In the end, Osaka’s skill and experience were too much for Gauff to overcome, and she fell to the defending champion in straight sets, with Osaka winning all six games in the second. Following Osaka’s victory, obviously the press wanted to speak with her on-court, but Osaka didn’t want to give the interview alone, as shown in this touching video.

As Gauff was gathering her things, Osaka approached to invite her to join the interview. “I’m gonna cry,” Gauff explains in the above video. “I’m gonna like cry the whole entire time,” but Osaka gently responds with “No, you’re good,” and “I think it’s better than going into the shower and crying.”

Eventually, Osaka was able to persuade Gauff to take part, with the spectators in attendance, as well as Osaka, applauding her effort. Gauff relayed what Osaka had told her immediately following the end of the match, saying “She told me that I did amazing and good luck and then she asked if I could do the on-court interview with her… It was amazing…I’m going to learn a lot from this match, and she’s been so sweet to me so thank you for this.”

Throughout the talk, the two competitors repeatedly turn the focus to each other, with Gauff humbly saying “Once again, thank you Naomi. I don’t want people to think I’m trying to take this moment away from her, because she really deserves it,” which causes Osaka to immediately shake her head, indicating that she would never think anything of the sort. And once it’s Naomi’s turn to speak, she promptly shifts the focus and praise onto others, this time Gauff’s parents, who are standing courtside.

“You guys raised an amazing player,” Osaka congratulates the couple, whom she’s met before, as she and Gauff have trained in the same facilities at certain points in their careers. Osaka also shows that she’s true to her words of telling Gauff it’s OK to cry, as she herself is choked with emotion and tears stream down her face as she continues to address Gauff’s parents, adding “The fact that both of us made it, and we’re both still working as hard as we can, I think it’s incredible, and I think you guys are amazing. I think, Coco, you’re amazing.”

Osaka would fall in the next round against Swiss player Belinda Bencic, ending her campaign for a second straight US Open title. However, her actions show that Osaka’s love of the game and her fellow athletes is as strong as her desire for victory, and for all those who think that sportsmanship is always the most important aspect of sports, her conduct following her match with Gauff is truly inspirational.

Source: US Open, Twitter/@usopen
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