Naomi Osaka Wins 2021 Australian Open

Katriona Page, Contents/Copy Editor

On Saturday, Feb. 20, Naomi Osaka beat Jennifer Brady in the 2021 Australian Open to clinch her fourth Grand Slam. This means Osaka is now four-for-four; she has won all four of the Grand Slams she has reached, an accomplishment that puts her in the same category as Roger Federer and Moncia Seles.

The final score was 6-4 in the first set and 6-3 in the second. However, Brady did have an opening in the first set — at 4-4, with Osaka down 30-40, Osaka missed her first serve. On the second, however, she made it in and eventually won the point. She then won the next two points, giving her the game, set and, ultimately, match. In the second set, Osaka won four games straight before Brady won a game. While Brady snagged three games, it took Osaka barely over half an hour to win the set.

Osaka has now won the Australian Open twice, in 2019 and 2021, and U.S. Open twice, in 2018 and 2020. Serena and Venus Williams are the only active female tennis players with more Grand Slam titles: both of them have won seven. 

Osaka last lost a match a year ago, to American teen Coco Gauff in the 2020 Australian Open. As in 2020, people considered Osaka’s opponent the underdog, and Osaka feared that spectators would hold her to higher expectations due to her experience with Slam finals, according to the New York Times. However, during the match, Osaka sensed Brady’s nerves and capitalized on that doubt, leading to victory. 

Brady, who attended UCLA, has lost to Osaka before, at the U.S. Open semifinals. However, she will leave the Australian Open empty-handed: she entered ranked the 24th-best player in the world, but since she made it to the finals, she will jump 11 spots, to No. 13.

Thanks to her win, Osaka, currently ranked third in the world, will climb to No. 2, putting her just behind Ashleigh Barty.