'Class': Naomi Osaka's incredible act after Australian Open final

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Naomi Osaka, pictured here signing autographs after her victory in the Australian Open final.
Naomi Osaka came back out to sign autographs after her victory in the Australian Open final. (Photo by Mackenzie Sweetnam/Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka oozed class on the court in her thrashing of Jennifer Brady in Saturday night's Australian Open final.

But she also showed immense class off it.

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The Australian Open champion could have been forgiven for wanting to get off Rod Laver Arena and celebrate with her team after winning her fourth grand slam title.

But an extraordinary act for fans in attendance shows you all you need to know about Osaka's character.

After the trophy presentation, the Japanese star signed some autographs before starting to make her way down the tunnel.

However the crowd roared and roared for Osaka to return, and the 23-year-old dutifully obeyed.

Naomi Osaka, pictured here signing autographs on Rod Laver Arena.
Naomi Osaka made sure every fan got her autograph as she left Rod Laver Arena. Image: Getty

Osaka came back onto the court and continued to sign more autographs, appearing to be intent of giving every fan a precious memento.

“That’s great. Naomi’s out there signing every autograph,” tweeted WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen. 

“Ran back out after walking into the tunnel.”

Journalist Sam Landsberger tweeted: “Before leaving Rod Laver Arena Naomi Osaka goes right, left, up the tunnel, and then doubles back to sign 36 autographs in total.

“Tennis balls, programs, tickets, hats, paper fans ... nobody missed out. 

"She even posed for photos and threw balls back to fans. Class.”

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Naomi Osaka tipped for grand slam greatness

Osaka is now being hailed as a double-digit major winner in waiting after soaring into rarefied air.

On Saturday night the Japanese superstar became the first woman since Monica Seles 30 years ago to win her first four grand slam finals.

"That's very amazing company," Osaka 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."

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.

The Williams sisters are the only other active players with more slams and three-time Open champion Mats 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."

with AAP

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