Dubai: Naomi Osaka has defeated Jennifer Brady to claim her fourth Gland Slam title in style.
The Japanese youngster never gave her American opponent an inch in Melbourne as she eased to a straight-sets 6-4, 6-4 victory. Osaka edged a tight first set and broke the American twice in the second to win in 77 minutes in front of thousands of fans at Rod Laver Arena.
"Firstly I want to congratulate Jennifer," Osaka said on-court. "After we'd played at the US Open I told everyone you'd be a problem, and I was right. To see your growth over the last few months is really cool.
"And to your team - my team is like my family so I'm sure you and your team have a lot of cool adventures together too. I for sure know that your mom and friends and family are very proud of you. I know we're going to play a lot more matches. Lastly but not least, thank you to you guys - the fans. Thank you for coming and watching. To have this energy really means a lot. Thank you so much. Thank you for opening your hearts and arms towards us. I feel like playing a Grand Slam right now is a privilege, and thank you for this opportunity."
Third seed Osaka preserves her 100 per cent record in Grand Slam finals after winning the 2018 and 2020 US Opens and the 2019 title in Melbourne. The 23-year-old, who also becomes the first woman since Monica Seles to win her first four major finals, will now rise to second in the world rankings.
Osaka, rated as the world's top-earning female athlete, saved two match points in the fourth round against Garbine Muguruza before going on to lift the trophy. Osaka, who also beat her idol Serena Williams in straight sets in the semi-finals, has not lost a match in more than a year.
Born: Oct. 16, 1997 in Osaka, Japan
Grand Slam titles: 4 (Australian Open 2019, 2021; U.S. Open 2018, 2020
Born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, Osaka grew up idolising 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.
Moved to New York when she was three years old and turned professional in 2013 aged 15.
Played in the main draw of a WTA event for the first time at Stanford in 2014. Beat Sam Stosur in the first round before losing to Andrea Petkovic.
CAREER TO DATE
Made her Grand Slam debut as a qualifier at the Australian Open in 2016, beating Elina Svitolina in the second round before losing to Victoria Azarenka.
Cracked the top 100 in the world for the first time in April 2016 and the top 50 later in the year.
Named 2016 WTA 'Newcomer of the Year' after making third-round appearances at three Grand Slams and reaching her first WTA final.
Won her first WTA title in March 2018 in Indian Wells, beating Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep along the way.
Beat Serena Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open final to claim her maiden Grand Slam title and finished the year ranked fifth in the world.
Beat Petra Kvitova in the 2019 Australian Open final to become the first player since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to win the next Grand Slam after her maiden major.
Beat Azarenka to win her second U.S. Open title in 2020. Osaka turned up for each of her seven matches wearing a
face mask carrying the name of a Black American to highlight racial injustice in the U.S.
Beat Brady to win her second Australian Open title and fourth Grand Slam crown, extending her win streak to 21 matches.