Naomi Osaka lives up to her favorite role in the final of the Australian Open with a 6: 4, 6: 3 win over the American Jennifer Brady (WTA 24).
The 23-year-old Japanese celebrated her fourth title in her fourth Grand Slam final after the US Open in 2018 and 2020 and the Australian Open in 2019. On Monday, she will improve from 3rd to 2nd in the world rankings.
An average performance against an opponent who could never let go of nervousness in her first big final was enough for the favorite. Brady was able to counter a first break from Osaka to 3: 1, but at the score of 4: 5 she negligently gave a 40:15 out of her hands. The Japanese, who grew up in New York, used her first set ball and made a preliminary decision.
With the set lead in the back, Osaka played a little more liberated, while the error rate for the American rose even further. So she was able to cheer in front of around 7500 spectators in the half-filled Rod Laver Arena and with the sometimes considerably disturbing wind after 77 minutes.
Osaka has now been unbeaten for over a year, but has not played often in the corona-shortened season. Twice, as a precaution, she waived because of an injury, including in the week before the Australian Open. On the hard court and when it counts, however, it is almost unbeatable. Only in the round of 16 did last year’s finalist Garbiñe Muguruza have two unused match points against Osaka, otherwise the Japanese won all games in two sets, including the semi-final against Serena Williams.