Tennis star Naomi Osaka secured her 4th Grand Slam Title on Saturday, after beating opponent Jennifer Grady at the Australian Open in a 6-4, 6-3 victory over the course of 77 minutes. Osaka, 23, previously won the Australian Open in 2019.
Her recent win furthered a lifelong dream to dominate the world of tennis during a lengthy match where nerves prevailed in the first half of the match.
“I have been in the position that she is in to go into the first Slam,” Osaka said, referring to Brady. “Of course I know the nerves that come with that. But then I was thinking on the other side, for me, I wonder if I’m expected to do better because I have been in Slam finals before. So there was actually a lot of nerves with that.”
Osaka faced a bittersweet victory earlier in the week after she beat her childhood idol, Serena Williams, during the semifinals round of the tournament.
“It’s very intimidating to serve for the first game and see her on the other side off the net,” Osaka said.
Osaka, who is carrying on the legacy the Williams sisters built, described her joy of returning to compete in front of fans during a pandemic that has taken so much from every aspect of life.
Due to the adjusted point system in response to the pandemic, Osaka rose from the number three rank to the number 2 women’s tennis player in the world. But that number is merely a placeholder as she continues her ascension as tennis brightest star.