A new boss of women’s tennis is here! Naomi Osaka wins her 4th Grand Slam tournament
As it’s already known, the Grand Slam tournament, the first this year – Australian Open, came to an end yesterday. We recall that 128 participants of the main draw participated in a tournament (without qualification), the prize fund of which was more than 61 million dollars.
Fighting for the title “champion of AO-2021” from February 8 to February 21, finalists of a tournament played no less than seven matches each on Melbourne’s open hard courts. In the men’s category Serbian Novak Djokovic, the first racket of the world, became the winner, having beaten in the final the Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev in 3 sets. But how AO-2021 for women came to an end?
Osaka’s coach: “Naomi is an improbable sportswoman”
Small spoiler: the Japanese tennis-player Naomi Osaka became the winner of the Australian Grand Slam tournament of 2021. Though, you could already understand it from the name of the article. For this reason, today, it will be a question of her.
Yutaka Nakamura, Naomi Osaka’s physical training coach who entered Maria Sharapova’s team eight years ago, commented on work with the Japanese.
“Naomi is an improbable sportswoman. She is explosive, hardy. Therefore, I compare her to a race car of “Formula One.” They say her weapon is a serve and forehand, but I consider that speed can play this role too.”
It should be noted Nakamura worked eight years with Sharapova. According to him, she created the heritage on the court, but at the same time with Naomi, it’s another level. He noted she has absolutely another voice and mood as the sportswoman and the activist.
Also, Yutaka admitted that after Sharapova, he thought he wouldn’t go on the world anymore and work individually. He devoted himself to a tour most of his life and didn’t represent that something can surpass work with Sharapova. However, when Nakamura began to cooperate with Naomi, he thought: “It’s a new experience.”
It was attractive to compare Naomi to Maria, at whom the Russian spirit “I was in good spirits I will make everything that will be required.” Naomi is instead an introvert, but in her, there is a lot of internal force. Her ability to train, maintain loadings exceeded all expectations of the coach.
“It’s intense. Naomi seldom expresses feelings and emotions but learns to have a positive impact. She equaled more senior sportswomen – Serena and Maria – but now understands that many equal her and, finally, began to realize the scale”.
Justine Henin on Naomi: “A new boss has appeared in women’s tennis”
In addition to the Japanese tennis player’s coach, comment on the (at that time) upcoming final with Jennifer Brady was also given by seven-time Grand Slam tournament champion Justine Henin.
“I believe a new boss has appeared in women’s tennis. Osaka is capable of becoming one. She has discovered a new dimension. She’s charismatic and has almost no weaknesses.”
Justine believes that sometimes Naomi is unstable. It can tighten the percentage of the first serve. Sometimes it makes many mistakes. But at the same time, Henin is impressive that she acts in a champion way when she needs to play and serve well. She is convinced that during her career, Osaka will win more Slams.
“Obviously, Naomi will be a clear favorite in the final. To say otherwise would be a lie. Although, of course, you should always be careful. But Osaka is entirely ready. She showed that physically and psychologically, she is powerful.”
Victory at the Australian Open-2021
So, now a little bit about the final itself. The third racket of the world Naomi Osaka in the final of the Australian Open, beat American tennis player Jennifer Brady with a score of 6:4, 6:3.
The 23-year-old Japanese won the fourth Grand Slam tournament and the seventh title in the overall score. On her account, victory on four of the last eight Grand Slam tournaments, which she held. Besides, she never lost on the Slam if she reached the quarterfinals.
Osaka became the 16th tennis player in the history of the professional tour to win four Grand Slams. Of the current ones, she is the fourth – after Kim Clijsters (4 titles), Venus Williams (7 titles), and Serena Williams (23 titles).
Osaka won four Grand Slam tournaments in the first four finals. She is the second tennis player in history after Monica Seles in 1990-1991, who succeeded.
Osaka wins the Slams for four consecutive years: she took the US Open in 2018 and 2020 and the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021. Before her, only eight tennis players in the Open Era gave out such series: Billie Jean King, Yvonne Gulagong, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Seles, Justine Henin, and Serena.
Also, Naomi is the ninth tennis player in history to take the Grand Slam tournament for four consecutive years. By the way, due to winning the Australian Open-2021, Osaka is already in second place in the WTA rating.
The seventh in history took AO, having played matchball during the tournament
What else is remembered for this Japanese victory?
During the tournament, she played a double matchball in the fourth round against Garbine Mugurusa. Thus, Osaka became the seventh tennis player to take the Australian Open title, having played matchballs.
Before her, only Monica Seles (1991), Jennifer Capriati (2002), Serena Williams (2003 and 2005), Lee Na (2014), Angelique Kerber (2016), and Caroline Wozniacki (2018) did this.
Impressive, isn’t it?
What separates the Japanese from the first position in the world ranking?
Naomi Osaka, who will rise to the second line of the WTA rating today, answered whether she would make special efforts to remove Ashleigh Barty from first place.
“To be honest, I don’t think about rating at all. I don’t play a lot. This year I just want to spend a regular season and do without failure in the middle, in June and July, which usually happens to me. And if I play well, I will be the first,”said the Japanese.
How did the WTA rating change after the Australian Open-2021?
Following the results of the Australian Open and the WTA 250 tournament in Melbourne, the following changes occurred in the WTA ranking:
- Firstly, as already noted, AO-2021 champion Naomi Osaka beat Wimbledon champion Simona Halep and became the second racket globally.
- Secondly, semifinalist Serena Williams returned to the top 10 in seventh place, removing Arina Sobolenko. She, in turn, won the Australian Open in doubles and became the first racket of the world in doubles.
- Thirdly, finalist Jennifer Brady made her debut in the top 20 in 13th place.
- Also, quarterfinalist Jessica Pegula and Russians Veronika Kudermetova and Varvara Gracheva updated personal records.
- The champion of the consolation tournament in Melbourne, Daria Kasatkina, returned to the top 70 in 57th place.
We can only thank Naomi Osaka and all the other participants for the best tennis and wish them all further success at Grand Slam tournaments and other competitions.