Japan’s Naomi Osaka’s determination led her to win the Australian Open. She dismissed Jennifer Brady in straight sets to claim her fourth Grand Slam title on Saturday. Osaka scored a close first set but dominated the second to win 6-4, 6-3 in 77 minutes in front of thousands of fans at the Rod Laver Arena.
Third seed Osaka retains its 100 percent record in the Grand Slam finals after winning the 2018 and 2020 US Opens and the 2019 Melbourne title. “We played in the semis of the US Open a couple of months ago and I told everyone that you’re going to be a problem,” Osaka said to Brady at the trophy presentation.
And I was correct about that. It’s so amazing to me to see your development over the last few months, it’s so cool to see.”
The 23-year-old, who is just the third player after Monica Seles and Roger Federer to win their first four major finals, will now be second in the world rankings. Osaka, named the world’s best female competitor, saved two points in the fourth round against Garbine Muguruza before the trophy was lifted.
Osaka wore a big-hitter fellow, Brady, of consistency, and lifted her racquet over her face in a mute affirmation of her triumph as the audience rough. Before the match, Osaka had described her return as the key, but she was aided by a nervous Brady who missed her service in the fourth game after two double faults.
But Brady, the 22nd seed, struck back with a break and managed to place pressure on Osaka’s operation. In spite of the loss, Brady will climb to a career-high 13th spot in the WTA rankings.