Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open, claiming her fourth slam trophy

Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open, claiming her fourth slam trophy

The problem for Naomi Osaka in the Grand Slam tournaments comes in week 1. Go beyond that stage on the big hard courts and prepare to engrave your name on the trophy.

She played great when she had to, Brady said. She took good pictures when she needed them.

Osaka, the AP 2020 Athlete of the Year, also has a 21-game winning streak dating back to last season. That includes a championship in the US Open from last year. She also won the US Open in 2018.

It shouldn’t have been that way tonight, Brady said after competing in her first Grand Slam final at the age of 25. Hopefully there are many more.

The next job for Osaka is to improve the clay and grass: she has never made it past the third round at the French Open or Wimbledon.

She is a huge inspiration to all of us, and what she is doing for the game is great to bring out the sport, said Brady, a 22nd-ranked American. I hope the girls will see it at home and be inspired by what she does. is doing.

This was a huge leap forward in competition at this tournament for Brady, who hadn’t seen anyone in the Top 25, or anyone who had appeared in a single Grand Slam semifinal before.

Brady’s only previous appearance in the last four in a major was at the US Open in September, when she lost in three sets to Osaka.

She this time she couldn’t push the champion that much.

I told anyone who wanted to hear that you were going to be a problem, and she was right, she told Brady Osaka with a smile, after asking him if she preferred to be called Jenny or Jennifer. It’s really cool to see how you’ve grown in the last few months.

She was colder than recently in Melbourne, with a temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a breeze making it difficult to catch the ball instead of hitting it and saying: Sorry!

The stadium was allowed to be at half capacity, about 7,500 people, after spectators were completely excluded from the tournament during a COVID-19 shutdown five days earlier.

Thanks for coming to see. It really feels amazing to me, said Osaka, whose US Open title hit empty stadiums in 2020. I haven’t played my last Grand Slam with the fans, so having this energy really means a lot.

On the men’s final Sunday, Djokovic is seeking his ninth Australian championship and 18th Grand Slam trophy overall. He will face No. 4 Daniil Medvedev, who leads a 20-game winning streak in his second grand final.

On Saturday, the women’s game ended at 4, when Brady used a balloon winner in the race who he interrupted by waving his arms for more noise from the crowd. That provided a breaking point: turn it up and she would serve for the first set.

But Osaka ended the opportunity with a crossed forehand and two errors by Brady made it 5-4.

Osaka then broke to take the set, helped by a double fault from Brady and a forehand at the net on a short ball to end the game.

Maybe it happens one in ten times, Brady said of that mistake, or hopefully less.

That was part of the six-game streak that gave Osaka a 4-0 lead in the second and she was on her way.

She plays so aggressively that she pressures you so much.

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