Naomi Osaka recorded a routine 6-4 6-3 victory over first-time major finalist Jennifer Brady to win the 2021 Australian Open, her forth Grand Slam title in as many finals.
The 22nd-seeded Brady had her chances in the first set, especially when she leveled from 1-3 to 3-3, and at 4-4 when she earned a break point with a spectacular execution, but Osaka managed to hold serve for a 5-3 lead and broke Brady in the following game as the American netted a forehand.
Early in the second set it became evident that Brady had few weapons to threaten Osaka, as the third seed raced to a 4-0 lead. A rebreak in the fifth game hinted that Brady could produce a turnaround, but Osaka was too strong and it didn’t take her long to serve out the title with a love hold.
The 23-year-old Osaka has not lost a match in over a year. This is her 21st consecutive win. Moreover, the two-time Australian Open and two-time US Open champion is now 12-0 when she reaches the quarterfinal stage at a major.
Osaka’s victims en route to the title included: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round, Caroline Garcia in the second, Ons Jabeur in the third, Garbine Muguruza in the fourth (saved two match points in her 50th career Grand Slam victory), Hsieh Su-Wei in the quarterfinals, Serena Williams in the semis (recovered from being broken in the first game of the match to inflict upon Williams the first Australian Open semifinal defeat of her career) and finally Brady.
The champion’s trophy will take the current world No.3 Osaka to No.2 in the new rankings, while Brady is guaranteed to make her Top 20 debut on Monday, at No.13.
So happy for Naomi as a fan but also happy for the WTA. Its what we need. A huge start winning and steadying the ship.
Andy, her first GS title feels like it was yesterday. Now she already has 4. She’s established herself as a major force in women’s tennis so quickly.
When the draw came out everyone was talking about how tough Osaka’s was… Well, she managed it pretty well! Her path is incredible. Honestly I don’t care she did not performed well at the French or at Wimbledon yet. She’s young, she’s clearly the best WTA player right now, and she has every weapon she needs to succeed there too. Let’s hope players like Muguruza, Swiatek, Kenin or Andreescu will have the ability to challenge her on a regular basis and give us some exciting years!
I watched the match and I don’t think you could say Brady was crushed. Although the scoreline doesn’t look very competitive, she put up a reasonably good fight. Inevitably Osaka was more relaxed and confident and her play was looser. I think Brady will do better next time.
CLT, I probably overreacted with the word “crushed”, but throughout the match Osaka was in control, she comfortably won the final.