Tearful Novak Djokovic pays tribute to 'mentor, friend' Kobe Bryant

Published: Jan 29, 2020, 08:18 IST | AFP | Melbourne

Djokovic, speaking after his Australian Open quarter-final win against Milos Raonic, said it was "heartbreaking" to hear about Bryant

Serbian tennis great Novak Djokovic teared up on Tuesday as he paid tribute to late basketball star Kobe Bryant, describing him as a "mentor" and a "friend" for the past 10 years.

Djokovic, speaking after his Australian Open quarter-final win against Milos Raonic, said it was "heartbreaking" to hear about Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven others.

"He was one of the greatest athletes of all time, he inspired myself and many other people around the world," Djokovic said in an on-court interview at Rod Laver Arena, wearing a tracksuit with the initials KB.

"I had the fortune to have a personal relationship with him over the past 10 years. When I needed some advice and some support he was there for me.

"He was my mentor, my friend and it's just heartbreaking to see and to hear what has happened to him and his daughter," Djokovic said, before breaking off to compose himself.

Djokovic and many other legends of tennis, including Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, have voiced their grief over the death of the former LA Lakers shooting guard, regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history.

On Monday, Australia's Nick Kyrgios arrived for his quarter-final wearing a Lakers shirt, and American doubles pair Coco Gauff and Caty McNally had tributes to Bryant scrawled on their trainers.

Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.com

Subscribe
NEXT STORY
This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK