Naomi Osaka proclaims WNBA fandom, reps Sabrina Ionescu jersey at US Open

Aug 30, 2021

Tory BarronESPN Editor

CloseTory Barron is a Bristol-based writer and editor for After retiring from playing lacrosse at UConn, the DC native decided to try her hand at writing about people playing sports.

Real recognizes real, as the phrase goes. Naomi Osaka — who garnered attention at last year’s US Open for wearing a series of masks honoring victims of police brutality and racial injustice — made another fashion statement ahead of her first-round match against Marie Bouzkova on Monday.

The reigning US Open champion drew inspiration in the form of WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu, pulling up to the Flushing Meadows practice courts rocking Ionescu’s No. 20 New York Liberty jersey.

It was a move that didn’t go unnoticed by the team’s Twitter account — or Ionescu, who also hit the RT button on ESPN’s tweet.

We love to see it! #OwntheCrown

— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) August 30, 2021

Osaka’s decision to don the jersey comes on the heels of the 23-year-old’s first time attending a WNBA game on Friday night.

.@naomiosaka pulled up to the @nyliberty and @PhoenixMercury game… We ? to see it

Good luck in the U.S. Open, Naomi ?

— WNBA (@WNBA) August 28, 2021

Despite Ionescu’s squad, the hometown Liberty, getting worked 80-64 by the Phoenix Mercury — New York is now 1-5 since the WNBA’s Olympic break — the tennis star was a huge fan of the experience.

Went to my first @WNBA game. I am in love and constantly inspired by strong, athletic, and beautiful women ??

— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) August 28, 2021

An immaculate endorsement.

If Osaka wins the tournament, then New York is winning the WNBA Finals this year. OK, that’s admittedly an aggressive take, but maybe the injury-laden Liberty will at least be able to turn it around in time to keep their playoff hopes alive.

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