Naomi Osaka won her fourth Grand Slam title on Saturday when she defeated America’s Jennifer Brady in straight sets at the Rod Laver Arena to win the Australian Open 2021 women’s singles title. Osaka registered a 6-4, 6-3 win in an hour and 17 minutes to win her fourth Grand Slam title in her fourth appearance in a Grand Slam final. The only other players to have won their first four Slam final in Open Era (since 1968) are Roger Federer and Monica Seles.
On top of that, she is only the fourth women’s singles player and seventh overall to be in the list of active players to have won four or more Grand Salm titles. The elite list that Osaka joined on Saturday includes Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
With her fourth Slam title on Saturday, Osaka tied with Kim Clijsters, Hana Mandlikova and Arantxa Sanchez, who also have the same number of Grand Slam titles to their names. She surpassed Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport and Angelique Kerber, all of whom have three.
This is the second title when Osaka has won the Australian Open right after becoming the US Open champion in the previous year. Osaka had won her first and second Grand Slam title in the same fashion in 2018 and 2019.
With the win on Saturday, Osaka now has 14 consecutive wins in Grand Slam events and has a winning streak of 21 straight matches.
Ahead of the final, Osaka had said that she comes from the mentality where she believes that no one really remembers the runner-up. One might remember the person but the name that is engraved in the trophies is that of the winner and hence, she wants to win these big titles.
She did exactly that on Saturday.
Brady had started nervously and got broken early in the first set even though Osaka was struggling to get her first serves in. However, Brady then settled her nerves and broke back Osaka. From there, both women went toe-to-toe and even saved break points to stay resilient. With Osaka leading 5-4 and Brady serving to stay in the first set, Brady had a moment to forget when she served a double fault to hand the Japanese the first set.
Osaka started the second set on fire as she was able to find her first serves and put on show her dominant forehand and backhand. Osaka used all her brilliance to blow Brady away initially and take a 4-0 lead in the second set. However, Brady fought back hard and even broke back Osaka once but the iconic figure held her nerves while serving for the match and won her service game 40-0 to take the title.