Naomi Osaka of Japan is on road to become a superstar as she defeated American Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3 to lift her second Australian Open trophy.
Third ranked Osaka walked past 22nd seeded Brady at Rod Laver Arena in an hour and 17 minutes to claim her fourth major crown. She has now won all four finals she played.
Osaka joined Monica Seles and Roger Federer as winners in their first four Grand Slam finals. Only six players had won more titles at 23.
Osaka, who annihilated tennis heavyweight Serena Williams in the semi-finals, looked at ease against Brady in the clash of power hitters.
It was her 21st straight win in just over a year.
Tennis aficionados awaiting a repeat of their US Open semi-final last year were left disappointed as Brady failed to match Osaka’s blistering pace.
US Open champion Osaka was also short of her best tennis, joining Brady in producing a dour, error-strewn first set.
Osaka and Brady started the final nervous missing first serves and committing unforced errors. With the score tied at 4-4, Osaka had to fight back to take lead. And in the next game, Brady took a 40-15 lead on her serve only to commit unforced errors that cost her the set 6-4.
By that time, Osaka had regained her rhythm and raced to a 4-0 lead in the second, needing 36 minutes to close out the match.
The third-ranked Osaka will move a step up in the women’s ranking, behind the Australian Ashleigh Barty, who fell in the quarter-finals. Osaka, who remained at No 1 in 2019, said she is not obsessed to regain the top spot.
“I feel like I’m at a really good place right now,” Osaka said. “I just want to play every match as hard as I can. If it comes to the point where I’m able to be No 1 again, I’ll embrace it, but I’m not really chasing it.”