Naomi Osaka of Japan, yesterday defeated American, Jennifer Brady, 6/4; 6/3 to lift the Daphne Akhurst trophy. The 23-year old Osaka became the choice of bookmakers after defeating Serena Williams in the “final” before the finals. It was Osaka’s second career meeting with Brady, who she defeated in the semi-finals of the 2020 US Open.
Osaka broke Brady in the second game of the first but conceded a break and games progressed with serve to 4-4. Osaka saved break point in the ninth game and held her serve to win 6/4. She held serve to lead 1- 0 and broke Brady’s serves in the second and fourth game for an unassailable 4-0 lead. Osaka dropped serve in the fifth but held on to serve out the ninth game at love for the match.
It was a victory for the record books. She defeated Serena Williams for her first Grand Slam at the 2018 US Open, under controversial circumstances. It was the first time Serena was denied tying Margaret Court’s record of 24 majors. Osaka Åwon the next major when she defeated Garbine Muguruza for the 2019 Australian Open. She defeated Victoria Azarenka to win the 2020 US Open.
In the interview on court, Osaka said: “It feels incredible to have fans. I played in the preceding Grand Slam without fans. To have this energy means a lot to me.”
Brady was gracious in defeat, praising Osaka. “What she is doing for the game is amazing. I hope young girls are watching and getting inspired by her.”
Osaka credits her success to making use of the quarantine to work on her emotions because “tennis is a mental game.” During the Australian Open, she was indeed the icy-calm lady firing ferocious shots without uttering a word.