Naomi Osaka cemented her place as the star of the women's game by beating American Jennifer Brady in the Australian Open final to win her fourth Grand Slam title. The 23-year-old remains unbeaten in major finals after a 6-4 6-3 win in Melbourne.
Japan's Osaka edged the first set when Brady, in her first Grand Slam final, paid for some glaring errors in the final game. The third seed seized control from that point, racing 4-0 ahead in the second set before sealing a deserved victory. She has now won two Australian Open titles after also triumphing at Melbourne Park in 2019, with her other Grand Slam successes coming at the US Open in 2018 and 2020.
Around 7,500 fans were allowed to watch the final on Rod Laver Arena and Osaka lapped up the acclaim after her US Open victory came behind closed doors. She said: "It feels incredible to have fans. I played the last Grand Slam without fans, to have this energy means a lot. I feel like playing a Grand Slam is a privilege."
A clear favourite in the final at Melbourne Park, Naomi is the first women's player to win her first four Grand Slam finals since Monica Seles in 1991. And, as she continues to blaze an unbeatable trail on court, off the court, she has grown into one of the world's most marketable athletes whilst finding her voice as a prominent social activist.
Despite her straight-sets victory, she said: "I feel like I have to get more comfortable on those surfaces a I didn't play juniors, so I didn't grow up playing on grass at all.
"I honestly think I'd have better luck on clay, because I think last year I didn't play bad at all. It's just something that I have to get more used to."
Now 4-time ‘Slam winner, the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) world ranked No. 3, Osaka, will see if she can now transfer her hard-court dominance onto the clay and grass surfaces.