Sports

Naomi Osaka beats Brady to win Australian Open

Naomi Osaka

February 20, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka offers an interview as she celebrates with the trophy after profitable her remaining match in opposition to Jennifer Brady of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

MELBOURNE—Naomi Osaka gave Jennifer Brady a lesson in Grand Slam tennis as she cruised to a 6-4 6-3 win to safe her second Australian Open title on Saturday and cement her standing as the brand new queen of the ladies’s recreation.

Osaka’s victory over the Twenty second-seeded American at a floodlit Rod Laver Arena gave the Japanese third seed her fourth main crown on the age of 23.

Fans hoping for a repeat of the pair’s engrossing U.S. Open semifinal final yr had been left disillusioned as Brady froze within the highlight of her first Grand Slam remaining.

U.S. Open champion Osaka performed a way wanting her greatest tennis and joined Brady in contributing to a dour, error-strewn first set.

But she settled to clinch six straight video games, roaring to a 4-0 lead within the second earlier than serving out the match to love.


A giant serve sealed it, inflicting Brady to hearth a forehand return lengthy, and Osaka held her racket over her head and beamed in an understated celebration.

Osaka, who gained the 2019 tournament, supplied Brady heat congratulations and thanked the followers on 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,” stated Osaka, who will probably be world quantity two when the rankings are up to date.

“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.”

EARLY NERVES

On a cool and breezy night time at Rod Laver Arena, Osaka warmed up with two aces as she served out the opening recreation to love however the blazing begin fizzled out in a stream of errors from each gamers.

Grappling with early nerves, Brady dropped serve after two double-faults however shortly broke again when Osaka double-faulted to reward a break level.

Brady breathed some life into the competition at 4-4, luring Osaka in with a drop-shot, then scrambling ahead to retrieve and lob her for break level.


Osaka canceled it nervelessly with an imperious forehand winner launched from the baseline.

Brady saved providing Osaka presents from her racket.

Serving to keep within the set at 5-4, she double-faulted then slapped a wild forehand over the baseline to cough up set level.

Brady fired down an enormous serve that Osaka might solely return quick, then stepped in to pound what ought to have been a easy forehand winner straight into the online.

The crowd groaned and Brady went to her chair ashen-faced.

Osaka stepped up the strain, breaking Brady once more after organising the prospect with a luxurious crosscourt backhand winner.

She charged on to a 4-0 lead earlier than Brady belatedly conjured some resistance to break Osaka in opposition to the circulation of play.

The American clawed again to 5-3 however bowed out as she began, smashing wild returns to permit Osaka to serve out the match with out hassle.

Although it was a tricky first Grand Slam remaining for Brady, she broke new floor in a outstanding run after being one of many 72 gamers unable to practice throughout their two-week onerous quarantine within the lead-up.

“First I would like to congratulate Naomi on another Grand Slam title,” stated the 25-year-old.

“She’s such an inspiration to us all and what she’s doing for the game is amazing and getting the sport out there and I hope young girls at home are watching and are inspired by what she’s doing.”



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