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.