Naomi Osaka may be the nicest tennis player of all time. Despite beating Jennifer Brady in the Australian Open final on Saturday, Osaka somehow made Brady smile and laugh after the match was over.
Serena Williams is the greatest female tennis player ever. However, we are witnessing the dawn of a new era, as Naomi Osaka is the new queen of women’s tennis.
Naomi Osaka is now 4-0 in Grand Slam finals
Naomi Osaka is now a four-time Grand Slam champion. She’s 4-0 in Grand Slam finals in her career, becoming the first woman to start her career that way since Monica Seles did it 30 years ago.
In front of 7,381 fans in Melbourne, Australia, Osaka defeated Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3 at Melbourne Park in the 2021 Australian Open final. The 23-year-old has won her last 21 matches and will move up to No. 2 in the WTA rankings.
After capturing her fourth Grand Slam title, Osaka spoke about how the pressure she puts on herself to win has helped her. The 2020 AP Female Athlete of the Year also said she wants to play tennis long enough to face a girl who said she was once her favorite player.
“You don’t go into a final wanting to be the runner-up. For me, I feel like every opportunity that I play a Slam is an opportunity to win a Slam,” Osaka said, via ESPN. “So I think maybe I put that pressure on myself too much, but honestly, it’s working out in my favor right now. What I have learned on and off the court is it’s OK to not be sure about yourself. For me, I feel like I’ve always forced myself to, like, be ‘strong’ or whatever. I think if you’re not feeling OK, it’s OK to not feel OK. But you have to sort of go within yourself and figure things out in a way.
“This is going to sound really odd, but hopefully I play long enough to play a girl that said that I was once her favorite player or something. For me, I think that’s the coolest thing that could ever happen to me. … That’s how the sport moves forward.”
Jennifer Brady was disappointed she lost in her first Grand Slam final.
However, Naomi Osaka did everything she could after the match was over to recognize Brady’s talents and bright future in the sport. The Japanese superstar showed off her charming personality by getting Brady and the crowd at Melbourne Park to laugh.
Naomi Osaka’s postgame moment with Jennifer Brady stole the show
While accepting her Australian Open trophy, Naomi Osaka praised Jennifer Brady and made the 25-year-old smile and laugh. Osaka asked Brady if she likes to be called “Jenny” or “Jennifer.” After Brady said, “Jenny,” Osaka turned to the microphone and called her “Jennifer” instead.
This was a heartwarming moment between Osaka and Brady. Even though Brady is older than Osaka, the former UCLA Bruin admits Osaka is an inspiration to girls everywhere.
“She’s such an inspiration to us all, and what she’s doing for the game is amazing in getting the sport out there,” Brady said. “I hope young girls at home are watching and inspired by what she’s doing. She plays so aggressive that she puts so much pressure on you to perform well. And that’s something that not every tennis player has that ability to do.”
It’s going to be fun to track Jennifer Brady’s rise in tennis, as she has the skills and work ethic to become a star.
However, all eyes are on Naomi Osaka at the moment. Only two active women own more major trophies than her: Serena Williams, with 23, and her sister Venus with seven.
The tennis icon has two personalities
Naomi Osaka is shy, sweet, caring, and funny when she’s not playing tennis. On the court, though, she’s a killer.
LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was one of Osaka’s mentors, so it makes sense why she’s looking for blood in her matches.
Women’s tennis is in good hands with Osaka as the face of the sport.