Melbourne, Australia, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- Japan’s Naomi Osaka on Saturday clinched her second Australian Open title as she comfortably defeated the US’ Jennifer Brady in straight sets.
Third seed Osaka took advantage of untimely unforced errors from Grand Slam final rookie Brady for a 6-4, 6-3 win to seal the title after a contest that lasted for one hour and 17 minutes.
The final was played in front of a crowd of around 7,500 fans, the first major sporting final to be played with spectators since the pandemic began last year.
“It feels incredible to have fans, I played the last Grand Slam without fans, to have this energy means a lot,” Osaka said afterwards as she held the trophy.
“I feel that playing a Grand Slam right now is a super privilege.”
The 2019 Australian Open champion made her intentions clear from the beginning as she put Brady – who had never made it past the semifinals at a Grand Slam before – under pressure on her first serving game.
Although the American found her way out of trouble after a more than five minute service game, she crumbled under pressure when she served next.
Brady committed two double faults either side of an unforced error to lose her serve to love. Osaka had drawn first blood.
The Japanese star had the opportunity to consolidate the break when she built up a 40-30 lead in the fifth game, but a couple of unforced errors and a double fault saw Brady break back.
But the American just delayed what proved to be inevitable, with Osaka getting a crucial break in the tenth game.