Tennis world erupts over 'savage' Naomi Osaka victory speech

Andrew Reid
·5-min read
Pictured here, Naomi Osaka asks Jennifer Brady a question about her name during her victory speech.
Naomi Osaka had viewers in stitches during a post-match moment with Jennifer Brady. Pic: ESPN

Interviews with Naomi Osaka are often an interesting affair and so it proved during her Australian Open victory speech after the Japanese star dismantled Jennifer Brady in the women's final on Saturday night.

Osaka needed only 77 minutes to see off Brady 6-4 6-3 and become the first woman since Monica Seles 30 years ago to win her first four grand slam finals.

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Australia's record-holding 24-time grand slam champion Margaret Court also managed the feat in the early 1960s.

But, ominously for Osaka's rivals, not even legends Serena and Venus Williams, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert or Billie-Jean King managed to win their first four major finals.

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.

Osaka's latest triumph follows her 2019 Australian Open win and 2018 and 2020 US Open victories.

Japan's popular 23-year-old superstar was gracious in victory and spoke in glowing terms about her opponent during her on-court victory speech.

However, Osaka's speech got underway in hilarious circumstances when she awkwardly stopped to ask Brady whether she prefers to be called 'Jenny' or 'Jennifer'.

The American let out a slightly puzzled giggle, before stating that 'Jenny' was her preference.

"Firsly I want to congratulate Jennifer," Osaka began by saying, oblivious to the fact that she had ignored the answer to her own question from seconds before.

The comical moment sent fans on social media into a spin, with some describing it as a "savage" move from the Australian Open champ.

Osaka's perfect record in major finals intact

"We played in the semi of US Open a couple of months ago. I told everyone that would listen that you're gonna be a problem - and I was right," Osaka added.

"It's really incredible for me, it's really hard to play you, and to see your growth over the past few months is really cool."

Osaka had to save two match points in the fourth round last week against 2020 Open runner-up Garbine Muguruza.

But it's been plain sailing for her ever since, world sport's highest-paid female athlete of 2020 not dropping another set for the tournament.

Seen here, Naomi Osaka kisses the Australian Open trophy after her win in the final.
Naomi Osaka poses with the Australian Open trophy. Pic: Getty

The world No.3 made a blazing start to the final, opening the match with an ace, holding serve to love and applying immediate pressure on Brady's.

Clearly nervous, having admitting to also feeling super tight during her semi-final win over Karolina Muchova, Brady double-faulted twice while dropping serve at love in the fourth game as Osaka opened up a 3-1 lead.

But Osaka handed the service break straight back with a double fault herself, then meekly put a backhand into the bottom half of the net as the pair's unforced error count continued to mount.

By the time Brady dumped what should have been an easy put-away forehand into the net on set point to gift Osaka the opening set, the American had committed 18 unforced errors in 10 games.

Osaka wasn't much better, committing 15, while striking only eight winners to Brady's 10.

Boasting a perfect 20-from-20 record at the Open after winning the first set, the title was as good as Osaka's 41 minutes into the final.

The third seed broke Brady twice more to charge to a 4-0 lead in the second set.

Despite dropping serve at 4-0, Osaka was never really threatened and clinched the title on her first match point.

"I'd like to thank my team. I've been with them too long - a month and some change - through quarantine together and for me," Osaka said.

"They're like my family; they're the ones with me through my training through my matches through my nervous talks before my matches and I'm really appreciative towards them.

"So I really want to thank you guys. This one's for you."

with AAP

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