WTA stars from around the world are paying tribute to Kobe Bryant following the basketball legend's tragic passing in California on Sunday.

The 41-year-old basketball great, who played his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers, was among those killed early on Sunday morning in Calabasas, Calif. in a helicopter accident.

Media reports indicated that Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, a promising basketball talent in her own right and known as Gigi, also passed away in the crash. 

A transcendent figure even outside of basketball, members of the tennis family took to social media to express their shock and share their condolences.

In the years since his retirement from basketball, Bryant had not been a stranger to the tennis community.

He was a fixture at last summer's US Open, where he and Naomi Osaka teamed up to promote Bryant's young adult fantasy novel, "Legacy and the Queen."

Created by Bryant's production company, Granity Studios, and authored by Annie Matthew, the novel centers around the titular character, Legacy, a young girl living in the fictional kingdom of Nova, who has to use her tennis talents to save her orphanage. 

About the book, Osaka said: "I love Legacy's drive, her passion and her fierce mentality. I would hope to say that we're similar in that sense."

In addition, he took in plenty of exciting matches in New York, including the emotional scenes seen around the world between Osaka and 15-year-old Coco Gauff inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Osaka also posted an emotional tribute on social media in the form of a letter to her 'big bro' Kobe Bryant. She wrote:

"Thank you for being you. Thank you for inspiring people everywhere, you have no idea how many hearts you've touched. Thank you for being so humble and not acting as big as you are. Thank you for caring and checking up on me after my hard losses. Thank you for randomly texting me, 'You ok?' cause you know how ****ed up my head is sometimes. Thank you for teaching me so much in the short time I've been lucky enough to know you. Thank you for existing, you will forever be my big bro/mentor/inspiration. Love you."