Naomi Osaka cemented her status as the dominant force in women’s tennis with a fourth grand slam title at the Australian Open.
Irish times reports that;The Japanese star reclaimed the title she won in 2019 with a dominant 6-4 6-3 victory over first-time slam finalist Jennifer Brady, maintaining her perfect record in major finals.
The pair had played a superb match in the semi-finals of the US Open last year but this was only briefly a contest after Osaka overcame some early wobbles to clinch the first set.
The 23-year-old remains behind Ashleigh Barty in the rankings because of the temporary switch to a two-year system but there is no doubt Naomi Osaka is the best player in the world on hard courts.
She now holds two titles again after winning in New York last September and has extended her winning run to 21 matches, stretching back more than a year, while only Serena and Venus Williams of active players now hold more slam titles.
Osaka has proved herself a player more than able to handle herself at the biggest occasions and she calmly served out the match to love.
After stepping onto the podium to collect the trophy, Osaka turned to Brady and said: “Firstly I want to congratulate Jennifer.
“We played in the semi-finals of the US Open and I told everyone that would listen that you’re going to be a problem, and I was right. To see your growth over the past few months is really cool.
“I’d like to thank my team. I’ve been with them too long, a month and some change. They’re like my family. They’re the ones with me through my training, through my matches, through my nervous talks before my matches, and I’m really appreciative towards them. This one’s for you.