Naomi Osaka won her fourth Grand Slam title, the second in Australia, defeating Jennifer Brady today. Osaka beat the rival in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, proving that she is the most dominant player in the world at the moment.
This was her fourth appearance in the GS finals, and the fourth win, which makes her the first player following Monica Seles to start with four titles without a single loss in the trophy battle.
Following a win at the empty Arthur Ashe stadium, once she defeated US Open last year, this match had spectators involved, which was something Osaka craved to see according to her words.
“Thank you for coming and watching. It feels really incredible for me,” said Osaka. “I didn’t play my last Grand Slam with fans, so just to have this energy, it really means a lot.”
Once mentioning the energy, the Japanese was excellent, enduring an intense rhythm in the opening set, and breaking Brady following an extremely tough situation. Osaka had to save a breakpoint with the result 4-4, with Brady on the surge. However, she would claw her way back out of that situation before catching a swing and erasing Brady’s 40-15 lead on her serve. That was the moment when she put together several fantastic shots taking the game upside down and snatching the first set after 43 minutes of play.
It was a huge boost for the 2019 champ, and she continued to play at the same tempo, taking a 4-0 lead early on in the second set, displaying dominance all over the court. At that point, it was obvious to all that Osaka’s quest towards another Grand Slam title won’t be stopped.
Even when Brady won one breakpoint, there was no fear on the other side of the net, and the 23-year old was routine. Brady gave her best to make an upset, but it wasn’t enough, The trophy was in Osaka’s hands.
“She played really well when she had to,” Brady said. “She hit good shots when she needed them…Tonight it wasn’t meant to be. Hopefully there’s many more.”
This was the first finals for the American. With 25 years of age, there is still plenty time for her to erase this loss and lift one Grand Slam trophy, but she’ll have to do better than today. Her path to the finals wasn’t as tough as Osaka’s. The 22nd seed’s biggest challenge was Karolina Muchova in the semis, no.25 here in Australia.
Naomi Osaka wins the 2021 Australian Open 🔥
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 20, 2021
As for Osaka, she had to go through a lot of trouble to win the second AO. A scare in the fourth round against the two-time GS champion, Garbine Muguruza once Osaka saved two match points was one of those problematic situations.
But the champions’ mindset and the fact that she is mentally the toughest player on the tour, again helped her to get through critical moments. In the semis, Serena Williams felt that, with the 23-time Grand Slam champ once more breaking following the match against the Japanese, this time leaving the press after the event.
According to many, Osaka’s win against her at the US Open was the moment when things changed in ladies’ tennis. The old generation led by Serena stepped down, and the new girls, personified by Osaka, took over, becoming the new rulers of this sport.
The Japanese is definitely the new queen, with four of the last seven Grand Slam titles ending in her collection. She might be far away from Serena when looking at the number of trophies, but having in mind her years, Osaka could eclipse the American someday.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.