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Australian Open 2021 Highlights: Naomi Osaka beats Jennifer Brady to win her second Australian Open

Australian Open 2021 Women's final: Japan's Naomi Osaka maintained her perfect record in Grand Slam deciders by beating Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3 to win her fourth major title.

FP Sports February 20, 2021 12:57:41 IST
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Australian Open 2021 Highlights: Naomi Osaka beats Jennifer Brady to win her second Australian Open

Japan's Naomi Osaka will take her perfect record in Grand Slam deciders into the Australian Open final on Saturday, where she will attempt to make it four out of four at the expense of America's Jennifer Brady. AP

Highlights

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Feb 20, 2021 - 16:32 (IST)

That's it for today folks!

Naomi Osaka's win meant that she now has four Grand Slam titles to her name, an achievement that is nothing to be scoffed at! Tune back in tomorrow, when Novak Djokovic will have to hold off Daniil Medvedev if he is to win a ninth Australian Open title! Until then, goodbye!

Feb 20, 2021 - 15:58 (IST)

That winning feeling!

Feb 20, 2021 - 15:56 (IST)

Naomi Osaka speaks after the match:

Firstly, I want to congratulate.. (Looks towards Jennifer Brady) Do you like to be called Jenny or Jennifer?.. (Brady says Jenny) I would like to congratulate Jennifer. We played each other at the US Open, and I told everyone that you were going to be a problem, and I was right. I know your team is like your family, and you have great adventures together, so congratulations to them too. You spoke about your mum watching, and I'm sure she and your friends and everyone else is very proud of you. I know we're going to play a lot more matches against each other.

I would like to congratulate my team, I've been with them a very long time now. They've been with me all the way, and this one's for them.

Last, but not least, I want to thank you for coming and watching. It means a lot to me, because in my last Grand Slam final there were no fans. This energy means a lot to me. Playing a Grand Slam right now is a huge opportunity, I won't take it for granted. Thank you guys so much.

Feb 20, 2021 - 15:51 (IST)

Jennifer Brady speaks after the match:

Hello everyone, first I would like to congratulate Naomi on another Grand Slam title, what she's doing is amazing and I hope young girls watching are inspired her. I would also like to congratulate her team, you guys are doing something special and she's getting better every day.

I would like to say thanks to my team, Michael and Daniel. Without them I wouldn't be where I was, let's keep working and doing more.

Thanks to Craig Tiley and his team. I was in quarantine, and they worked hard to make sure everything was just right. 

Thanks to all the ball kids, umpires and everyone who came out here to watch and support us. Thanks to everyone at home, I know my mum is sitting at home and watching the tv crying. 

It was special to play my first Grand Slam final in front of fans. Hopefully there will be many more.

Feb 20, 2021 - 15:38 (IST)

CHAMP!

Feb 20, 2021 - 15:36 (IST)

Set 2 Stats!

Feb 20, 2021 - 15:35 (IST)

Game, Set, Match, Championship: Naomi Osaka wins the final 6-4, 6-3!

Naomi Osaka claims the first point with an inch-perfect shot placed into the corner of Brady's court that the American cannot get to in time. Brady then hits a couple of returns long, and Osaka has three championship points. She finishes off with a huge serve down the middle, that Brady hammers long. NAOMI OSAKA HAS HER FOURTH GRAND SLAM TITLE!

Feb 20, 2021 - 15:32 (IST)

Jennifer Brady 4-6, 3-5 Naomi Osaka* (* denotes next server)

Jennifer Brady has done well today. Even if she's not been up to the level of her oppoent, the American has left everything out on the court, and has fought bravely. But Osaka has just been too good. The Japanese star trades winners with her American counterpart and we're at deuce in this set. Brady looks under pressure, but she plays well to grind out yet another hold. Naomi Osaka will serve for the match.

Feb 20, 2021 - 15:26 (IST)

Jennifer Brady* 4-6, 2-5 Naomi Osaka (* denotes next server)

Great play from Jennifer Brady, she's not going down without a fight. She absolutely blitzes to a service hold. Osaka begins her service game with two huge serves which Brady cannot return, and then loses a point after a lengthy rally when her forehand clips the top of the net and bounces out of play. Some more excellent play from the Japanese star takes her to 40-15, before an identical error involving the net makes it 40-30. Brady misses a forehand, and Brady will now serve to stay in the match! 

Feb 20, 2021 - 15:20 (IST)

Jennifer Brady* 4-6, 1-4 Naomi Osaka (* denotes next server)

An error apiece, and it's 15-15. Surely this is a must-win game for Jennifer Brady, she has to break Osaka. She does well to take the game to 30-30, but a backhand winner from Osaka gives the Japanese star game point. Brady shows some real strength of character to dig deep and unleash a few quality forehands, and the third has enough firepower on it to evade the reach of Naomi Osaka. Deuce! Brady has advantage, and if she can break, it would do her confidence a world of good. She can't though, a rare long rally ends with an attempted slice from Brady that lands in the doubles alley. Deuce. Brady shows some good defence to force Osaka into a mistake, advantage to her again. Brady breaks! Great work from the American!

Preview: Japan's Naomi Osaka will take her perfect record in Grand Slam deciders into the Australian Open final on Saturday, where she will attempt to make it four out of four at the expense of America's Jennifer Brady.

A second trophy at Melbourne Park would mean the 23-year-old from Japan has won half the majors she's contested since her first Slam title at the US Open final in 2018 — an infamous match forever remembered for Serena Williams's implosion.

Osaka's demolition of Williams in the semi-finals ended the 39-year-old's latest attempt to win a record-equalling 24th major, and reinforced the belief that the Japanese world number three heads a generation that is taking over from the American.

The quirky but increasingly confident Osaka has never lost after reaching the last eight of a Grand Slam, and is riding a 20-match winning streak that dates back a year.

She is now aiming to become the first woman's player since Monica Seles to win her first four Grand Slam finals.

"I have this mentality that people don't remember the runners-up," Osaka explained.

"I think I fight the hardest in the finals. I think that's where you sort of set yourself apart."

Osaka is the hot favourite against 22nd seed Brady, who is making her Grand Slam final debut after serving 14 days' hard quarantine before the tournament, unlike other players who were allowed out of their hotel rooms to train.

The pair first clashed as juniors in Florida seven years ago, when Brady won.

Osaka has won both their matches since with their rivalry hitting new heights in the second of those, last year's epic US Open semi-final.

Eventual champion Osaka prevailed 7-6 (7/1), 3-6, 6-3 in a nerve-jangling encounter, dubbed by some as the best match of the truncated 2020 season.

"Was probably (in the) top two matches I've played in my life," Osaka said of the classic at Flushing Meadows.

"I think the matches I remember the most when I'm having a very hard time. I think about that match a lot."

'She hits it huge'

Third seed Osaka believes she has sharpened her game since then, which will be crucial to blunt the strong-serving American.

"I play a little bit different now," said Osaka.

"I think my returns are better. I can't fully base everything on that match, but definitely it's something to reference."

Brady, 25, has not faced a higher-ranked player in her run to the final, helped by the exits of world number one Ashleigh Barty and defending champion Sofia Kenin on her side of the draw.

Having not lost a set until her three-set thriller against Karolina Muchova in the semis, Brady knows she is in for a fight against a player she long believed was destined for stardom.

"We grew up playing junior local tournaments in Florida," she said.

"I remember playing her, I was, like, 'Wow, she hits the ball huge. She's going to be good. She's got something special.'"

Brady, who "didn't really like" tennis as a youngster, but rekindled her love for the sport at college, has revelled in self-belief since her breakthrough in New York, but admitted the cauldron of a Slam final will be a new experience.

"I don't know how I'm going to feel on Saturday," she said.

"There are going to be moments, games, points where I'm going to be thinking... 'Wow, this could be my first Grand Slam title.'"

Despite being two years younger, Osaka is more experienced on the highest stage and said she has learned to be calmer about big-match occasions.

"I used to weigh my entire existence on if I won or lost a tennis match," she said. "That's just not how I feel any more."

With inputs from AFP.

Updated Date:

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