Australian Open 2021: Jennifer Brady says winning a Slam no longer feels as improbable as 'going to Mars'
Brady reached the Melbourne final despite undergoing 14 days' hard quarantine in Australia, forced to stay in her room while other players were allowed out every day to train.
Melbourne: Not long ago, Jennifer Brady thought reaching a Grand Slam final was as far-fetched as "going to Mars" — but she said a major win no longer seems impossible after finishing runner-up at the Australian Open.
The American 22nd seed said a Grand Slam victory now felt "totally achievable" after her maiden major final, despite falling in straight sets to Japan's Naomi Osaka.
"I think I belong at this level. I think winning a Grand Slam is totally achievable. It's within reach," said Brady after her first Slam decider.
"Obviously I was nervous, didn't go my way, but at the same time coming off court, I was like, OK, that feels a little bit normal."
"If you were to ask me maybe a year ago, I wouldn't think it's possible or it would feel like it's, like, going to Mars," she added.
Brady has had the best run of her career since tennis returned from its coronavirus shutdown, winning her first WTA title and reaching the US Open semi-finals — where she also lost to Osaka.
She reached the Melbourne final despite undergoing 14 days' hard quarantine in Australia, forced to stay in her room while other players were allowed out every day to train.
"I made my first Grand Slam final, so maybe if I wasn't in quarantine I would have won," she smiled, adding that she had "mixed feelings" about the match.
"I'm pretty proud of myself, my team, for what we achieved here. We came here and I reached my first Grand Slam final," she said.
"But also I'm walking away with the runner-up trophy, not the winner's trophy, so that's a little bit sad."
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Naomi Osaka registered multiple records and milestones following her Australian Open title win on Saturday against Jennifer Brady.
Naomi Osaka has four Grand Slam titles, and remains unbeaten in major finals after lifting the 2021 Australian Open. But more remarkably, each of her Slam has been significant to her as a player and a person.
Osaka edged a tight first set but controlled the second to win 6-4, 6-3 in 77 minutes in front of thousands of fans at Rod Laver Arena.