Third seed Naomi Osaka has blitzed first-time major finalist Jennifer Brady to win the Australian Open for a second time, racing through the final in 77 minutes 6-4 6-3 to increase her grand slam title haul to four.
Osaka, who has now hoisted the trophy in Melbourne for a second time, overcame blustery conditions and secured a vital break in the eighth game of the first set, after having already relinquished one earlier in the set.
However, the Japanese – hailed as the natural successor to Serena Williams – found her range in the second set and threatened to run away with the match after tearing ahead to a 4-0 lead.
But the 22nd-ranked Brady recovered one of the break with some tenacious play and remarkable athleticism.
After that minor fumble, Osaka held her nerve and never relinquished the lead again, serving the match out on her first tournament-winning opportunity.
More to come…