US Open 2020: Naomi Osaka steps forward on the court and remembers the victims of racist violence

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The Japanese tennis player is already in the round of 16 and wore a chinstrap with the name of Ahmaud Arbery, an African-American murdered last February.

The Japanese Naomi Osaka gave another sample of her commitment against racism and violence, using before and after her victory in the US Open of tennis against the Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk a chinstrap with the name of Ahmaud Arbery, a young African American assassinated last February.

The tennis player of Haitian descent has been wearing masks with names of victims of police brutality and racism in the United States. At the Cincinnatti tournament, also held in Flushing Meadows last week, she joined a protest that caused the competition to be suspended one day after the seven shots to another black citizen: Jacob Blake.

After defeating Kostyuk 6-3, 6-7 (4-7) and 6-2 in the third round, the champion of this Grand Slam in 2018 put on the vindication face cover for her interview on the court and stated: “None of these deaths had to occur. I want people to know their names. “

In a subsequent press conference, Osaka said that he is always surprised when someone thanks him for his awareness work.

“I don’t feel like I’m doing anything, but people say thank you and I’m proud of you, and for me that’s something that touches my heart,” she pointed out. “When I’m in the moment, I’m not aware of how many people are watching.”

Arbery was 25 years old and was hunted down and killed on February 23 while jogging in Glynn County, Georgia. Those responsible were the whites Travis McMichael and his father Gregory, armed, and William “Roddie” Bryan, who followed him in another vehicle.

The Japanese was satisfied that banners have been hung from ‘Black Lives Matter’ in some courts and places of the Open despite the lack of public and considered that tennis “is an international event” with athletes from all over the world, so it is “a very good opportunity to pronounce on certain issues”.

“I think that as soon as a player starts talking about something, that opens the door for others,” he said.

Regarding his match against the Ukrainian Kostyuk, 18, he acknowledged having suffered and felt “extreme frustration.”

“He didn’t get dwarfed by me or the speed of my ball, which is amazing for someone so young,” he said praising Kostyuk.

“I think it will definitely be dangerous,” said the champion, who after having faced the American in the past Coco GauffNow 16, she takes more perspective on opponents younger than her.

“After playing Coco twice, I think: she is probably the youngest person of all time. So whoever she plays with who is younger than me, I admit she has worked very hard to be on the other side of the net. with me and I must treat her with respect, do my best to win, “he said.

Osaka’s opponent in the round of 16 will be the fourteenth seeded Estonian Anett Kontaveit, who beat the twenty-fourth seeded Polish Magda Linette.

With information from EFE

HS

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