Japan’s Naomi Osaka consolidated her place as the star of women’s soccer by defeating American Jennifer Brady in the final of the Australian Open to capture her fourth Grand Slam title.
Osaka, 23, is unbeaten in a major final after a 6-4 6-3 win in Melbourne.
Osaka took the first set when Brady suffered a series of gross errors in his first Grand Slam final.
The number three took control of the match from that point on, taking a 4-0 lead in the second set before recording a well-deserved victory.
Osaka has now won two titles at the Australian Open following his win at Melbourne Park in 2019, and his other Grand Slam successes are at the US Open in 2018 and 2020.
It has not been defeated since February 2020, and its victory over Brady was its 21st consecutive win.
Osaka’s face beams with a wide smile as she lifts the racquet above her head as she secures the title on her first match point after a long Brady counterattack.
About 7,500 fans watched the final at the Rod Laver Arena, and Osaka was honored behind closed doors after her victory at the US Open.
“I feel incredible to have fans, I played the last Grand Slam without fans, to have this energy means a lot to me,” Osaka said while accepting the Daphne Aheurst Trophy.
“I feel privileged to play in a Grand Slam.”
Osaka is the first woman to win her first four Grand Slam finals since Monica Seles in 1991.
Osaka proves once again why she is a “grand champion.”
Sweet Osaka has emerged as the sport’s biggest star of late and showed it again with a Grand Slam victory.
On the field, his clean shots and clear thinking were too much for his opponents.
Off the field, she became one of the world’s best-selling female athletes and found her voice to become a leading public figure.
“She’s a great champion,” said former British number one Laura Robson, analyst at Radio 5 Live.
“In the last six months, she has found work outside the court, but everything she does there does not affect her in the court. That’s the key.”
Osaka was the clear favorite to reach the final at Melbourne Park, although the relatively quiet journey to the final included moments where she showed her fight and spirit.
In the fourth round against Garbine Muguruza, the 2020 runner-up, Osaka had to concede two match points before securing victory. She also struggled in the semifinals against 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.
Even though her level against Brady was not always at the top, she always had a lot of quality at the crucial moments.
Osaka struggled in his first serve, making 24 errors, but won four of five break points and pushed away two of Brady’s four chances.
This was especially evident at 5-4 in the first set, when their relentless pressure forced Brady to make some crucial mistakes.
And even more brilliance enabled Osaka to get off to a fast start in the second set, from which Brady could not recover.
The sweet backcourt winner brought more break points to win 2-0 and took advantage of the first opportunity when another deep comeback led Brady to some clumsy footwork.
From that point on, Osaka’s confidence grew even more, and it quickly broke in two.
While Brady scratched one in the back, Osaka never seemed to give up and won the championship for herself.
The next question for Osaka will be whether she can translate her dominance on the hard court to clay and grass courts.
She has not yet had success at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but her next ambition – after celebrating this success – will be to try to change that in the coming months and years.
Brady fails, but hopes for “many more” finishes.
Although not the result Brady had hoped for, the 25-year-old American has plenty of reason to be optimistic after reaching her first Grand Slam final.
Remarkably, the 22nd seed even survived her second week in Melbourne and became the only singles player to undergo a “severe” quarantine when she arrived in Australia.
Locked in her room for 14 days, the former student had to pound the mattress against the wall, perform inventive leg exercises and borrow a bicycle and treadmill from Tennis Australia.
She also admitted that she stopped watching Netflix to “do nothing but lie in bed.”
A solid serve is the foundation of her game, and it enabled her to make a good draw even though she had never played in the top 20 before Osaka.
Brady lost to Osaka in their final game of the US Open last September, and she suffered the same fate when she tried to impose her service game.
In the 10th tiebreaker of the first set, the game is over for Brady.
After a bumpy start that allowed him to get back into the rhythm of the match, a 40-30 double fault gave Osaka hope. Brady was then caught at the other end to give Osaka a set point out of nowhere.
Brady hit an easy forehand into the net and ultimately that sloppy play cost him the match.
The groans from the crowd, as Brady grimaced and shook his head, reinforced the statement.
“It wasn’t planned, but I hope it will be a lot more,” said Brady, who rises to 15th in the world rankings after being dropped from the top 50 a year ago.
Frequently asked questions
Who won the final of the 2021 Australian Women’s Open?
Naomi Osaka has won the 2021 Australian Open. She defeated Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3 in 77 minutes in consecutive sets in the women’s final in Melbourne.
Who won the women’s singles final at the 20/20 Australian Open?
Sophia Kenin won her first Grand Slam title, defeating Garbiñe Muguruza in the final 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Kenin became the first American besides Serena Williams to win the Australian Open women’s singles title since Jennifer Capriati in 2002.
Who won the men’s final at the 2021 Australian Open?
Novak Djokovic further cemented his reputation as one of the greatest tennis players of all time and the greatest champion of the Australian Open by winning his ninth career title in Melbourne with a 7-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Daniil Medvedev in the 2021 final.
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