Naomi Osaka reacts to Australian Open win as Mats Wilander backs her for ‘at least 10 majors’

Osaka won a second Australian Open title (Picture: AFP via Getty)

Naomi Osaka said it was a ‘privilege’ to be able to storm to a fourth Grand Slam title against hard-hitting American Jennifer Brady in front of fans on Saturday amid pandemic restrictions.

Osaka’s most recent Slam win, at the US Open last year, came in an empty arena but her hard-court dominance didn’t waver despite the return of supporters in Melbourne.

The 6-4 6-3 win in an hour and 17 minutes cemented her status as the best hard-courter in the women’s game. While she only rises to No. 2 in the WTA rankings, few would dispute the 23-year-old from Japan is the most dominant force.

In her usual quirky fashion, Osaka started her speech with a question.

‘Do you like to be called Jenny or Jennifer?’ she asked her beaten opponent.

Although Brady responded “Jenny”, Osaka must have misheard and continued: ‘Firstly I want to congratulate Jennifer.

Osaka eased past Brady (Picture: AFP via Getty)

‘We played in the semis of the US Open a few months ago and I told everyone that would listen that you’re going to be a problem. And I was right.

‘It’s really hard to play you and to see your growth over the past few months is really cool for me.

‘I’m sure your mum is super proud of you and everyone, your friends and your family, are very proud of you. I’m sure we’re going to play a lot more matches. So here’s to that.

‘I’d like to thank my team. I’ve been with them too long. A month and some change. We’ve been through quarantine and for me they’re like my family. They’re the ones through my training, through my matches, through my nervous talks before my matches… this one’s for you!

‘Lastly but not least, thank you guys for coming to watch. It feels incredible for me. I didn’t play my last Grand Slam with fans so just to have this energy, it really means a lot.

‘Thank you for opening your hearts and your arms towards us. For sure, I feel like playing a Grand Slam right now is a super privilege and it’s something I won’t take for granted.’

Brady was full of praise for Osaka in her runner-up speech, adding: ‘What she’s doing for the game is amazing. I hope young girls at home are watching and are inspired by what she’s doing.’

Osaka was delighted to get a fourth Slam win (Picture: AFP via Getty)

Mats Wilander, the seven-time Grand Slam champion from Sweden, thinks Osaka is far from done and backed her to win at least 10 major titles.

‘I think she has 10 in her, minimum, I really do,’ Wilander told Eurosport.

‘Of course we know that motivation is important. Physically she doesn’t moves really well, she’s so strong and she doesn’t look like she can get hurt very easily.

‘She is very subdued when she wins which means she wants to win more. I think everything is pointing towards winning at least 10 majors.’

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