Riding off the momentum of an epic semi-final win, Naomi Osaka claimed her second Australian Open title in three years over Jennifer Brady on Saturday night.
Osaka went into the final as the heavy favourite and never truly was challenged, smashing Brady in straight sets.
Although the final scoreline didn’t reflect it, Brady didn’t look out of place in her maiden Grand Slam final. The soon to be world number 13 wasn’t completely outclassed on the court, but lacked Osaka’s composure in the moments that mattered.
Brady and Osaka had to contend with the wind in the first set, with their first serves sitting under 45 per cent. The 22nd seed’s serve was heavily impacted, with Brady serving four double faults to Osaka’s one in the first set, two in the fourth game of the set that allowed Osaka to go a break ahead.
The American was quick to fire back, capitalising the swirling Rod Laver Arena wind to break back in a tight fifth game. Brady looked more comfortable, retaining her serve from that point on in the set, threatening to break Osaka’s serve again but was unable to convert.
The world number 3 found a way to break Brady’s serve, coming back from 40-15 down in the last game of the first set. Brady earned a break point following an exciting rally that saw a shot drop in perfectly despite appearing to over-hit the ball. It only took one break point for Osaka to take out the set due to an unforced error by the American.
Osaka was off to a flying start early in the second set, winning the first four games in just 15 minutes. Brady looked to fight back, managing to break Osaka’s serve in a hard-fought game, that momentarily disrupted the third seed’s charge to the championship.
All Osaka needed to do was hold her own serve not phased by the 22nd seed’s stronger service games, which saw Brady win another two games for the set.
The final game of the set that highlighted Osaka’s strength and experience in the final, winning a love game to take out the 2021 Australian Open title in straight sets.
Winning her fourth Grand Slam, Osaka joins an elite club with legends of the game Rodger Federer and Monica Seles, who both won their opening four Grand Slam finals appearances. She is also one of just 15 women to win four or more Majors in the Open Era, letting the world know she is one of the greats in the current era of tennis.