Osaka brings the standard template of a Champion – Day 13 Australian Open.

I did say that Jen Brady would need to serve better than she did in her semi-final in the final against Naomi Osaka, or she would go the same way as Serena. She served at 50% in the semis and 48% today, so it is not difficult to see where this started to slip away from her. Funnily enough, to prove the point Osaka only served at 48% too and won 6/4 6/3. She will have the advantage when going off similar stats. It was a nervy match for both players but Naomi seems to have that template that a Champion brings to the court. The one that gives you the big plays at the key moments. You can get by with serving under 50% at times, so long as you play the big points well and when things aren’t functioning as she would like she generally has this to fall back on.

There was a slight glimmer for Brady at the end of the first set. Having been 3/1 down, she did have a breakpoint at 4/4 which, had she taken would have meant she would have served for the first set. Osaka saved it with a big forehand and before you could blink it was 6/4 4/0 to the 2019 Champion. The American did get one of the breaks back and her inside out forehand is a joy to watch when firing but a double break was probably always going to be insurmountable. Osaka was not going to let her back in from there, the double break had given her that insurance.

I was reading that only Serena (23), Venus (7) and Kim Clijsters (4) are the only active players with Osaka to have won four or more Grand Slam titles from the WTA Tour. If you add Federer, Nadal and Djokovic you get the complete list from both tours. So that is a pretty elitist list. You get the impression that a lot, lot more will follow for Naomi. The next step will be to master grass and clay, there is no disputing her hardcourt pedigree.

Andy Del Potro

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