Australian Open 2021 Women's Final: Winner, Score and Twitter ReactionFebruary 20, 2021
Naomi Osaka maintained her dominance at hard-court majors by defeating Jennifer Brady in straight sets in the 2021 Australian Open women's singles final.
Osaka claimed her fourth Grand Slam title Saturday by defeating the American, 6-4, 6-3, inside Rod Laver Arena.
The 23-year-old's four Grand Slam championships have all occurred on hard courts. She won the 2019 Australian Open and 2018 and 2020 U.S. Opens.
Saturday's victory extended Osaka's winning streak to 21 and continued her perfect record in quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of Grand Slams, as WTA Insider highlighted:
This is the second time Osaka has won back-to-back majors in her career. Osaka and Serena Williams are the only women to win consecutive majors since 2010.
To reach the final, Osaka had to navigate the tougher side of the women's singles draw. She defeated two Grand Slam champions in Williams and Garbine Muguruza, as well as No. 27 seed Ons Jabeur.
Osaka joined Williams among a rare collection of women's singles players who have won majors in four straight seasons, per NBC Sports' Nick Zaccardi:
Osaka, Williams, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters form the small collection of active women on the WTA Tour who have won four majors. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are the only active men with four or more Grand Slam titles, per Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times:
Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg
Naomi Osaka joins truly elite company by winning her fourth Slam title, beating Brady 6-4, 6-3 for her second #AusOpen title. Active players with four or more Slam singles titles: Serena Williams Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic Venus Williams Kim Clijsters Naomi Osaka
The 23-year-old joined an even smaller list by winning her first four major finals. Only Monica Seles and Federer also reached that milestone in the Open Era, per Rothenberg:
There are plenty of experts who believe Osaka is only just getting started with her major haul. ESPN's Chris Evert said Osaka is "breaking away from the pack" (h/t TSN Tennis):
Since Osaka won her first major title at the 2018 U.S. Open, she is the only woman to have won multiple Grand Slams. Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu, Sofia Kenin and Iga Swiatek each have a single triumph in that stretch.
While she is known as the preeminent hard-court player, Osaka has a chance to expand her dominance to the other surfaces. ESPN's Brad Gilbert noted that Wimbledon should be the next major Osaka tries to win and argued there is "no reason why she won't get better on clay."
Osaka has not gotten past the third round at the French Open or Wimbledon, but if she improves on clay and grass in the coming years, she has a chance to take over the women's game.