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US Open 2023: Twitter erupts in praise for Novak Djokovic's tribute to Kobe Bryant after 24th grand slam win

Novak Djokovic's remarkable victory at the US Open 2023, securing his 24th Grand Slam title, was marked by a poignant tribute to the late basketball legend Kobe Bryant. Wearing a "Mamba Forever" shirt during the trophy presentation.

Tennis Novak Djokovic's glorious tribute to Kobe Bryant after his 24th grand slam title osf
First Published Sep 12, 2023, 4:33 PM IST

Following his remarkable 24th Grand Slam victory and securing the US Open 2023 title with a victory over Russia's Daniil Medvedev, Novak Djokovic paid a heartfelt tribute to the late basketball legend, Kobe Bryant. During the trophy presentation, Djokovic donned a "Mamba Forever" shirt, honouring Bryant, who tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash three years ago. Djokovic's victory, his fourth US Open crown, served as redemption for his previous defeat to Medvedev two years ago, which had shattered his dreams of a calendar Grand Slam.

In a touching gesture, Djokovic revealed a t-shirt featuring an image of himself alongside Bryant, the fiercely competitive basketball icon known as "Mamba." On the back of the shirt, the number 24 was prominently displayed, representing the jersey worn by the legendary Los Angeles Lakers player during his illustrious NBA career.

Djokovic shared the significance behind his tribute, explaining how Kobe Bryant had been a source of inspiration and support during some of the most challenging moments in his career, particularly during a career-threatening 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, and we had many conversations about the winner's mentality. 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 to offer support in the most friendly way. His passing deeply affected me, and the number 24 represents the jersey he wore with the Lakers, so I thought it would be a fitting way to acknowledge him."

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Here are some of the Twitter reactions:

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