Japan’s Naomi Osaka on Saturday defeated America’s Jennifer Brady in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 to lift the women’s singles title of the Australian Open.
Both Osaka and Brady impressed tennis fans in the Australian Open by their hard-hitting tennis and became the worthy finalists of the first Grand Slam of the year.
Osaka, in particular, had almost exited the championship in the fourth round when she saved two match points against Garbine Muguruza of Spain. Brady, for her part, had to spend two weeks of hotel quarantine before commencing her Australian Open campaign.
Osaka had defeated Serena Williams in the semi-final 6-3 6-4, ending the 39-year-old’s quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title. She had reached the final enjoying a 20-match winning streak. Her last defeat had come on 7 February 2020. As for Brady, she had beaten Karolina Muchova to reach the final.
While there was nothing surprising about Osaka, winners of three Grand Slam, reaching another Grand Slam final, Brady had never been ranked inside the top 20, and until her US Open semifinal last year had never been beyond the fourth round at a Slam.
The last time both Osaka and Brady had locked horns was in the semi-final of the last year’s US Open when the Japanese won in three sets before she beat Victoria Azarenka to win her third Grand Slam title.