Fans are hailing Naomi Osaka as the new Serena Williams after the Japanese star won her fourth grand slam title at the Australian Open on Saturday night.
Osaka crushed American Jennifer Brady 6-4 6-3 in just 77 minutes to become the first woman since Monica Seles 30 years ago to win her first four grand slam finals.
'OH MY GOD': Naomi Osaka's 'savage' act in victory speech
All-time majors title leader Margaret Court also accomplished the feat in the early 1960s, as did Roger Federer before going on to rack up a record 20 men's grand slam singles crowns.
According to tennis great Mats Wilander, Osaka will win 10 grand slams "minimum", while fane are predicting many, many more.
Ominously for Osaka's rivals, not even legends Serena and Venus Williams, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert nor Billie-Jean King managed to win their first four major finals.
Osaka's latest success follows her 2019 Australian Open triumph and 2018 and 2020 US Open title runs in New York.
The Williams sisters are the only other active players with more slams and three-time Open champion Wilander is convinced there's many more to come after the former world No.1 confirmed her status as Serena's successor and the new dominator of women's tennis.
"I think she has 10 grand slams in her, minimum, I really do," Wilander said on Eurosport.
"She moves really well, she's so strong and doesn't look as if she can get hurt very easily.
"She's very subdued when she wins which means, I think, she wants to win more. Everything speaks for her winning at least 10 majors.
"She says she's gonna take it in fives. Certainly she's gonna get to five. I would think she's up there on 10, 11, 12 minimum.
"She's the best hardcourt player we've had in the women's game since Serena was at her best.
"She hasn't lost a grand slam final and hasn't lost in the second week of a slam so I don't know if she feels pressure."
I had hoped Serena would surpass Court’s record... but it might just be faster to wait for Osaka to do it. I hope she does #AusOpen
— Juleasha (@Juleasha) February 20, 2021
Naomi Osaka is going to win more majors than Serena Williams. You can bet on it right now.
— Mark Matranga - you’re grammar expert (@mark_matranga) February 20, 2021
— Mrs C (@MrsBindySTL) February 20, 2021
— InternationalB (@AKADrTrapperMD) February 20, 2021
I think we're done transitioning from the Serena Era... It was fun while it lasted but this is squarely the Osaka Era now. #AusOpen
— Andrew Mc’ (@CheapAbyss) February 20, 2021
The reign of Serena Williams is over. Osaka is the new Queen of Tennis.
— João Eduardo Marquez (@JanetChido) February 20, 2021
Move over Serena, a new woman is taken charge of women's tennis from here on out : ) definitely want to see lot more championships on the Osaka family resume. Would like to see Mari come around in the future and kick butt too
— Chris L (@clpa0081) February 20, 2021
— Felix Olela (@Lord_Olelieza) February 20, 2021
Naomi Osaka destined for grand slam glory
Still only 23, Osaka now holds two of the sport's four biggest trophies and could conceivably secure a non-calendar-year grand slam if she also wins the French Open in June and Wimbledon in July.
"Definitely for me, there's no reason why I shouldn't do well in those tournaments," Osaka said.
"It's a matter of being comfortable and, hopefully, as I play more matches on those surfaces I'll get better."
Osaka said it was "crazy" that she's being talked about alongside some of the legends of the sport.
"That's very amazing company," she said.
"I hope that I can have, like, one grain of how their career has unfolded.
"But you can only wish and you can only just keep going down your own path. But, yeah, it's definitely something crazy to hear."
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