• Matt Johns

Osaka reigns supreme in Melbourne

Naomi Osaka triumphs in the Australian Open final, with a convincing straight set victory over upcoming American, Jennifer Brady. The Japanese superstar obtains her second Australian Open title with a 6-4 6-3 victory, in a match that lasted just short of 80 minutes.

It was a repeat of the US Open semi-final, which was a very tight affair between two of the bright sparks in women’s tennis. Osaka was victorious on that occasion too, but Brady pushed her all the way to the end.

This was a very different challenge for the American, as she was entering the first Grand Slam final of her career.

It could be argued that the occasion got to her, as she failed to show the tennis that had gotten her into this position, but she certainly didn’t embarrass herself.

I’m sure it won’t be the last time we will see Brady in a similar position, as she has made it to the depths of the last two hard court grand slams, with Osaka being the only thing getting in her way of claiming that allusive grand slam title.

On paper it was a fairly comfortable road to the final for the 23-year-old Osaka, dropping only one set on route. However, it wasn’t as simple as it seems, as she faced a couple of match points in the fourth round, against Garbine Muguruza.

This title makes it her fourth grand slam in her young but groundbreaking career. The World number two appears to be asserting her dominance over the hard court grand slams, winning both of the last two in impressive fashion.

For the Japanese philanthropist, the emphasis now should be placed on improving her performances on the other surfaces.

She has only made it to the third round in both the French Open and Wimbledon, playing on the clay and grass, respectively.

If she manages to overcome this, the world is her oyster and it seems that it is inevitable that Osaka will become world number one and the dominant force in women’s tennis for years to come.

She also has the home Olympics to set her sights on, with the postponed games taking place later this year. Osaka is the poster girl and the hopes of the nation will be rested on her young shoulders.

This tournament felt like the first step at getting sport back to normal, with fans being able to attend the first grand slam of the year, due to the low rate of Covid-19 in Australia.

This was emphasised by the 8,000 in attendance, who embraced two of the game’s top players going head-to-head, in what was a hard-hitting contest.

Written by Matt Johns