Naomi Osaka is an Australian Open champion once again.
The 23-year-old achieved her twenty-first consecutive win on Saturday at Rod Laver Arena in the women’s singles final, defeating American Jennifer Brady in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
Osaka earned her fourth Grand Slam.
Osaka last won the Australian Open in 2019, while No. 22 seed Brady had never previously been in a Grand Slam final.
“She’s such an inspiration to us all,” Brady said about Osaka after the match. “What she’s doing for the game is amazing, getting the sport out there. I hope young girls at home are watching and are inspired by what she’s doing.”
Ahead of the match, Brady, 25, told reporters of the pressure of her first final, “I don’t know how I’m going to feel. I can say I can enjoy the moment and just try to play tennis and not really think too much about it.”
She continued, according to the BBC, “But there are going to be moments where I’m going to be thinking ‘Wow, this could be my first Grand Slam title’.
Sunday was not the first time Brady and Osaka have faced off — most notably, the pair played each other in the semifinals at the 2020 U.S. Open. Osaka was ultimately victorious in that match, and in the tournament.
To secure her place in the final, Osaka had to beat tennis icon Serena Williams, taking her down in two sets. After her victory, Osaka reflected to reporters on playing one of her favorite athletes.
The tennis icon, who lost in her 40th Grand Slam semifinal, got emotional and ended her press conference after facing questions about her future
“I was a little kid watching her play, and just to be on the court playing against her, for me, is a dream,” she said earlier this week.
Tune into the Tennis Channel to watch the men’s singles final match on Sunday, and for daily coverage of the tournament.
Source: Lindsay Kimble