The player has performed brilliantly in the last few years.
Naomi Osaka is one of the most promising stars of women’s tennis today. Her popularity on the circuit is growing everyday. The World No. 2 has already won four Grand Slams by the age of 23.
She is also the only Japanese player to lift a singles Grand Slam title. Let us take a look into her career and check out her biggest wins on the court:
5. Naomi Osaka vs Victoria Azarenka ( French Open 2019)
Naomi Osaka met Victoria Azarenka in the second round of the Roland Garros. However, the start did not go as planned for the Australian Open winner that year. She dropped the first set to the more experienced Azarenka.
But this did not deter Osaka as she came back strong taking the second set which was fairly competitive. Unfortunately, the same thing could be said for the third set as Osaka seemed to have taken the reign into her own hands. The match ended with the Japanese coming out victorious 4-6,7-5, 6-3 progressing to the 3rd round.
4. Naomi Osaka vs Jennifer Brady ( Aus Open 2021)
Naomi Osaka returned to play in the finals of the 2021 Australian Open after her 2019 victory. Her opponent being the 22nd seed American Jennifer Brady who was playing her first Grand Slam final. Osaka showed her mettle and dominance and won the game in straight sets.
She was leading 5-3 in the second set and as soon as Brady’s shot went over the line at 40-0, Osaka broke into a satisfied smile. After her victory Osaka thanked her team and also had high praise for her opponent. The match ended with a scoreline of 6-4, 6-3 making the Japanese superstar a two-time Australian Open Champion.
3. Naomi Osaka vs Victoria Azarenka (US Open 2020)
Naomi Osaka again faced off against Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in the finals of the 2020 US Open. Azarenka, a former world No. 1 and a two-time Australian Open champion, was looking to grasp her first US Open title at the Flushing Meadows. She had defeated Serena Williams in the semis on her way to the finals.
Azarenka started the match with the same aggressive style and won the first set convincingly. Osaka barely managed to win a game. She was trailing in the second set as well giving away a 2-0 lead. But the champion made crucial adjustments to get back in the game. The 22-year-old Osaka slowly started to find her rhythm and range. She found her control in her rallies and managed to land more first serves. Her persistence yielded results and the match went on to a final set.
She kept her momentum going taking a 3-1 lead. Moreover, Naomi also managed to find her way out of a 0-40 deficit of an important fifth game. Osaka won the game 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 and became a two-time US Open Champion. She also became the first player since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario to win the US Grand Slam title after losing the first set.
2. Naomi Osaka vs Serena Williams ( US Open 2018)
The first Grand Slam victory of any tennis player’s career is always special. More so when it comes against your childhood idol. This is exactly what happened when Naomi Osaka ousted Serena Williams to win her first Grand Slam title. Osaka was barely two years old when Williams had lifted her first US Open trophy in 1999.
Osaka played a real balanced game to earn her first major Grand Slam trophy against a very hostile crowd. She even had to endure the crowds jeering and boos throughout the game as well as after. But she didn’t lose focus and wrapped up the game in straight sets 6-2 and 6-4. “I know that everyone was cheering for her and I’m sorry it had to end like this. I just wanted to say thank you for watching the match” she added even though the crowd was against her.
Even Serena admitted to being “outplayed” by her young opponent admitting she learnt a lot from the game. Osaka made her way into the top 10 with this victory. The first Japanese player to do so- man or woman.
1. Naomi Osaka vs Petra Kvitova (Aus Open 2019)
Naomi Osaka won her 1st Australian Open title in the year 2019. This was the Japanese superstar’s second Grand Slam victory overall. Her opponenet was the former world no 2 and two time Wimbledon champion Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova.
This was one of Osaka’s toughest Grand Slam final matches till date. Osaka won the first set but the victory didn’t come easy. Both Kvitova and Osaka tied at 6-6 and it went for a tie-break. The second set saw Kvitova tie us the sets at 2-2. So it all came down to the third set.
Osaka played some controlled tennis in the third round taking a lead at 5-4 and serving for the match. As soon as Kvitova’s return jumped out of the court Osaka went on her knees in her usual calm celebration. The cheering and the adulation from the fans continued as the gamed reached its finality. Osaka won 7-6, 5-7,6-4 and also took the no 1 spot in rankings.