Even with a capacity crowd of just over 50% on Rod Laver Arena you could have cut the tension on court with a knife. Naomi Osaka was looking for her fourth major title whilst surprise finalist Jennifer Brady was in her first final and throughout the tournament exceptional composure to the match.
The nerves were evident to begin with. Naomi settled quickly taking a 3-1 lead but no one really took control of the match and it felt like it would be some errors that would seal the fate in the first set as Brady levelled up.
Naomi struggled to pick up that backhand and the consistency on the serve was not there. It was a tough ending to the opening set for Jennifer Brady serving at 4-5 the pressure showed. In the previous game Naomi was 0-30 and 30-40 down but came through and that might have just been in the American’s mind.
She herself gave Naomi a look in after an unusual shot from the former champion landed in but this was not just a break point but a set point and a forehand smashed into the net sealed the set for Naomi Osaka.
Against Naomi, you have to react. The former number one has only lost from a set up once since January 2020 and that was in Brisbane to Karolina Pliskova.
That set point seemed to bother Brady who’s groundstrokes went wayward and trouble on the other side as Naomi found more rhythm on serve and began to find the spot with her backhand.
After holding for 5-4 and winning the set 6-4 she extended her run of games to six taking a 6-4 4-0 lead over the first time finalist. Credit where it is due to Brady as she found her groundstrokes again to orchestrate two break points and a backhand into the net of Naomi Osaka stopped the rot.
A very quick hold of serve followed for Brady and suddenly it felt like there was added pressure on the 3 time major champion.
A couple of aces, a couple of forehands off the net cord and wide gave Brady some hope but the error from the American sealed a 5-2 lead and forced her to serve to stay in the final.
Another big hold from Brady who settled down, 40-40 and second serve but came through and forced Naomi Osaka to serve for her second Australian Open title and fourth Grand Slam title.
Jennifer tried but Naomi raced to 40-0 and sealed her fourth Grand Slam title and second title in Melbourne.