- Novak Djokovic secured his 24th Grand Slam victory by winning the US Open 2023, defeating Daniil Medvedev.
- Djokovic paid tribute to Kobe Bryant by wearing a “Mamba Forever” jersey during the trophy presentation, featuring an image of him and the basketball legend.
- Kobe Bryant was a close friend of Djokovic, which is why he opted to honour him with a special t-shirt.
The undisputed No. 1 player in men’s tennis, Novak Djokovic, won the US Open 2023 title by defeating Daniil Medvedev of Russia. This is the second of his Grand Slam victory overall. With his 24th Grand Slam victory, Djokovic gave a moving homage to the late basketball player Kobe Bryant by honouring him by donning a “Mamba Forever” jersey during the trophy presentation.
Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to win his fourth US Open title and get revenge for the Russian’s defeat two years prior, which ended his hopes of completing a calendar Grand Slam.
Later, Djokovic revealed a t-shirt featuring a picture of him and Bryant, the legendary basketball player known as “Mamba” for his fierce rivalry. The Los Angeles Lakers legend’s number, 24, which he wore during his NBA career, was visible on the back.
Novak hits 24 and pays tribute to the late Kobe Bryant ? pic.twitter.com/rDXVUvYe1Z— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 10, 2023
Djokovic said that Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter crash three years prior, had supported him at some of his career’s toughest times, including a possible career-ending elbow injury in 2017.
“I thought about doing this t-shirt a few days ago,” said Djokovic.
“I didn’t share it with anybody. Kobe was a close friend of mine, we chatted a lot, about the winner’s mentality.”
He added, “When I was struggling with injury and trying to work my way back to the top he was one of the people I relied on the most he was always there for support in the most friendly way. His passing hurt me deeply and 24 is the jersey he wore at Lakers so I thought it would be nice to acknowledge him.”