Born in Japan and growing up in the state of New York and now living in California, Naomi Osaka has traveled a lot. Traveling has yet to be a problem for Osaka. This winter, she traveled to Australia to pursue a second Australian Grand Slam title. A title she has already won once, in 2019.
The 2021 Australian Open came with doubts of ever happening due to COVID-19. Yet, Japanese tennis player, Naomi Osaka and American tennis player, Jennifer Brady still made it to the Australian Grand Slam final. The final was Osaka’s fourth and Brady’s first-ever Grand Slam final.
Osaka entered the Australian Open as the third seed, a spot she has had since 2019. Brady entered her first Grand Slam final as the 24th seed, all according to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). This all changed after Osaka won 6-4, 6-3 to Brady at the Rod Laver Arena. Osaka now is the second seed and Brady is the 13th seed. This all changed after the Australian Open.
After Osaka won her second Australian Open, it made Osaka the third player ever in tennis history to win all four of her first four Grand Slam finals. This was last done by Serbian tennis player, Monica Seles, 30 years ago. Osaka has won every Grand Slam final she has been in and also holds a record of 21 matches unbeaten.
Osaka has reached and won many finals; finals that no other Japanese tennis athlete has ever reached or won. Osaka is the first Japanese tennis athlete to ever win a Grand Slam singles title. Now, she is the first Japanese tennis athlete to have ever won four Grand Slam titles and the first ever to have won four Grand Slam Titles consecutively.
“Naomi’s win was so amazing, especially after she had won the US Open. She is also a huge influencer. She has even made statements at the US Open that have never been seen by the tennis community. It brought up a major issue in a predominately white sport. I actually wrote an essay about her win and its involvement and influence on the BLM movement for ENG 234,” Natalie Bell, singles and doubles tennis athlete, sophomore and accounting major, said. Bell is also a member of the SAAC and is a member of the tennis team.
“Naomi Osaka worked very hard for her win. I feel like she gets the ball very fast and also serves very well. She is an athlete that I admire. Osaka is also a huge inspiration for me,” Kara Bradl, singles and doubles tennis athlete, freshman education major, said.
“Naomi Osaka is an incredible athlete and woman. She has gone very far and I only expect her to do so much more. She has proven to all women that we can all be great athletes,” Luna Tafuri, tennis athlete, freshman psychology major, said.
“She is a huge inspiration to women or anyone who truly loves tennis. Personally, she is one of my favorite tennis athletes. She is an amazing player. While still being able to admit, she has room to grow,” Bell said.