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Sunday, 18 April 2021

Tennis: Factbox on Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka

Third seed Osaka played some way short of her best tennis but it was more than enough as she clinched six straight games to take the first set and stormed to a 4-0 lead in the second

Reuters , Saturday 20 Feb 2021
Osaka
Japan's Naomi Osaka waves after beating Jennifer Brady of the US to win their women's singles final match on day thirteen of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on February 20, 2021. AFP
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Factbox on Japan's Naomi Osaka, who beat American Jennifer Brady 6-4 6-3 in the Australian Open final to win her fourth Grand Slam title on Saturday.

Born: Oct. 16, 1997 in Osaka, Japan
Age: 23
Grand Slam titles: 4 (Australian Open 2019, 2021; U.S. Open 2018, 2020)

Early life:

* Born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, Osaka grew up idolising 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

* Moved to New York when she was three years old and turned professional in 2013 aged 15.

* Played in the main draw of a WTA event for the first time at Stanford in 2014. Beat Sam Stosur in the first round before losing to Andrea Petkovic.

Career to date

* Made her Grand Slam debut as a qualifier at the Australian Open in 2016, beating Elina Svitolina in the second round before losing to Victoria Azarenka.

* Cracked the top 100 in the world for the first time in April 2016 and the top 50 later in the year.

* Named 2016 WTA "Newcomer of the Year" after making third-round appearances at three Grand Slams and reaching her first WTA final.

* Won her first WTA title in March 2018 in Indian Wells, beating Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep along the way.

* Beat Serena Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open final to claim her maiden Grand Slam title and finished the year ranked fifth in the world.

* Beat Petra Kvitova in the 2019 Australian Open final to become the first player since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to win the next Grand Slam after her maiden major.

* Beat Azarenka to win her second U.S. Open title in 2020. Osaka turned up for each of her seven matches wearing a face mask carrying the name of a Black American to highlight racial injustice in the U.S.

* Beat Brady to win her second Australian Open title and fourth Grand Slam crown, extending her win streak to 21 matches.

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