Australian Open 2021 – 'It’s an honour' – Naomi Osaka on Mats Wilander claim she could win 10 Slams
Naomi Osaka is the Australian Open champion! The Japanese star saw off Jennifer Brady in straight sets to secure her fourth Grand Slam title and set tongues wagging about her replacing Serena Williams as the biggest name in women’s tennis. Despite Osaka’s success on hard courts, she is yet to progress beyond the third round at the French Open or Wimbledon.
'It’s an honour' – Osaka on Wilander and Schett predicting more Slams
Osaka: I want to play long enough to face a girl who said I was their favourite player
“I'm taking it in sections,” said Osaka.
“Right now, I'm trying to go for five. You know, after five I would think about maybe dividing the 10, so maybe seven or eight. I like to take things not big picture. For me, I like to live in the moment.
You know, it's an honour that he [Wilander] said that, of course. But I don't want to weigh myself down with pressure and expectations.
“I know that the people that I'm playing against are the best players in the world, and, you know, if my time comes to win another Grand Slam, it will come.”
'As good as it gets' - The best of champion Osaka at 2021 Australian Open
All four of Osaka’s Slam successes have come on hard courts, with the Japanese star now turning her attention to improving on clay and grass to challenge at the French Open and Wimbledon. Osaka has never progressed beyond the third round at either tournament.
“For me, I feel like I have to get comfortable on those surfaces,” she said.
“That's the key thing that, you know, I didn't play juniors, so I didn't grow up playing on grass at all.
“So I honestly think I'd have better luck on clay, because I think last year I didn't play bad at all. It's just something that I have to get more used to.”
Highlights: Majestic Osaka beats Brady to win fourth Grand Slam
Rather than shoot at Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Slams, Osaka has a much simpler goal: inspire the next generation.
“I feel like the biggest thing that I want to achieve is… this is going to sound really odd, but hopefully I play long enough to play a girl that said that I was once her favourite player or something,” she said.
“For me, I think that's the coolest thing that could ever happen to me.
“I think I have those feelings of, you know, watching my favourite players. Unfortunately I didn't get to play Li Na, but, yeah, I just think that that's how the sport moves forward.”
Congratulations Naomi Osaka: 2021 Australian Open champion