When you witness kindness and class being shown to an opposing player on the court, it is indeed a beautiful thing to watch.  This is exactly what happened last week when tennis’ Naomi Osaka (#2 BEAR) overcame Cory Gauff (#13 FCIR) in a competitive match at the 2019 U.S. Open last week.  While Gauff made every effort to force a comeback, Osaka was simply too much, hitting 91 percent of returns in play and converting six of her seven break points.  She also hit 24 winners to Gauff’s eight.

But it was after the match that everyone will remember, as Naomi “persuaded a tearful Gauff into staying behind to be interviewed alongside her in front of the packed crowd.  Both players ended up reduced to tears, but those shed will be remembered as part of one of the indelible moments of U.S. Open history. A marked contrast to those Osaka wept last year as Serena Williams’ (#1 FEAR) row with umpire Carlos Ramos overshadowed what should have been the greatest night of the Japanese’s career.”

Gauff herself was stunned by the gesture, later saying, “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 that’s what she did.”

And how’s this for interesting commentary on the #2 reserved Back brain Osaka?  “Discussion over Osaka’s slightly withdrawn nature and lack of comfort in the spotlight has been a prominent feature of her rise to the top of the women’s game.  Now the focus has been shifted to her capacity for empathy and her sportsmanship, though Osaka appeared to indicate she would still rather not be the subject of such attention.”

A withdrawn nature, yet someone also with a capacity for empathy!  As a wise man once said, “You can’t make this stuff up.”  No, you certainly can’t, and only with the knowledge of Brain Types could anyone have ever seen this coming.  In fact, journalists are beginning to label acts of kindness in tennis as “Naomi moments.”  What does she think of that?  “I don’t know what a Naomi moment is. Hopefully there won’t be many of those. Yeah, whatever I do, I try to tell myself to just do it from the heart.”

To say a dominant Animate does things “from the heart” is like saying an apple tree produces apples.  To be sure, not all #2s are equally compassionate, so our kudos definitely go out to Ms. Osaka for being a class-act, reminding us that graciousness still exists in sports today.

Written by: Staff
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