Posted by: ritagone | September 4, 2019

I Interrupt My Regularly Scheduled Rita’s Ramblings…

I was going to do something completely different for my Ramblings today, but there was an unforeseen event this past Sunday morning that turned me in another direction.  A God moment, if you will, that I want to share with you instead.

I watched a recorded third round of the U.S. Open women’s tennis tournament.  Why, you might ask?  Well, once upon a time I was not only a bit of a tennis player (okay, okay, decades ago, but that qualifies indeed as once upon a time), but I’ve always enjoyed watching various matches and tournaments down through the years.  This was one involving the 15-year-old American phenomenon Coco Gauff and Japanese #1 player Naomi Osaka, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

As matches go, it was pretty clear cut: Osaka won in two sets.  Gauff put up a good fight, but she was clearly outpowered and out-maneuvered by her 21-year-old opponent.

But that’s not what I want to talk about here; it was what came at the end of the match that was so amazing.  Gauff – she is, after all, only 15 – was very teary-eyed and weepy when the match ended.  She stood at the net to congratulate her opponent, and Osaka approached, hugged her and obviously was saying something of import to her.

The media – in this case ESPN – interviews the winner of a match like this pretty quickly after their victory, wanting to capture the enthusiasm of the audience and the joy of the victor.  Sometimes the loser kind of skulks off to the locker room to lick his or her wounds.  In this case, Osaka had asked Gauff to stay around and let the interviewer talk to both of them.  She shared her victory with her opponent, praising her, even praising Gauff’s parents for raising such a great young lady and tennis player.

I tell you, there was probably not a dry eye in the stadium.  I know that as I watched, I had to grab a few tissues.  Why?  Because you very rarely see this display of kindness, of generosity of spirit, of good sportsmanship in any sport.  It was sincere, it was quiet yet strong.  And, as one of the commentators stated, in years to come it will not be the match that will be discussed; it will be Naomi Osaka’s handling of Coco Gauff’s tears and disappointment.

And what that said to me, in a little microcosm of life, is that there are still good things that happen, still good people around who know how to behave, who know how to be tender and kind and thoughtful.  Watch for them, and when you meet them or see them, make sure you let them know that what they have done is appreciated and valued.

So my hat metaphorically is off to Naomi Osaka.  She went on to lose in the next round.

But in reality she’s a champion; she’s a winner!!!


  1. Agree with all you have said.

  2. Ah, kindness a forgotten virtue, Rita. It is why Barry Corey, president of Biola University wrote the book “Love Kindness” a few years back.. I have read and recommended it and am now reading a second time with my book club. It is excellent, well written, anecdotal, challenging and much needed. It received numerous praises from many Christian leaders. You being a writer, and having 2 kids as Alums of Biola will no doubt enjoy, and profit, from reading it. Barry is changing the tenor of Biola,


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