SMA NEWS – MELBOURNE
Naomi Osaka gave Jennifer Brady a lesson in Grand Slam tennis as she cruised to a 6-4 6-3 win to secure her second Australian Open title on Saturday and cement her standing as the new queen of the women’s game.
Osaka’s victory over the 22nd-seeded American at a floodlit Rod Laver Arena gave the Japanese third seed her fourth major crown at the age of 23.
Fans hoping for a repeat of the pair’s engrossing U.S. Open semi-final last year were left disappointed as Brady froze in the spotlight of her first Grand Slam final.
U.S. Open champion Osaka played some way short of her best tennis and joined Brady in contributing to a dour, error-strewn first set.
But she settled to clinch six straight games, roaring to a 4-0 lead in the second before serving out the match to love.
A big serve sealed it, causing Brady to fire a forehand return long, and Osaka held her racket over her head and beamed in an understated celebration.
Osaka, who won the 2019 tournament, offered Brady warm congratulations and thanked the fans at the trophy ceremony.
“When we played in the semis of the U.S. Open, a couple of months ago, and I told everyone that ‘Listen you’re going to be a problem’. And I was right,” said Osaka, who will be world number two when the rankings are updated.
“It feels really incredible for me. I didn’t play my last Grand Slam with fans so just to have this energy it really means a lot.”