Women’s tennis is witnessing a “change of guard” as the sun sets over Serena Williams’ illustrious career and rises on Naomi Osaka.
This is the word of tennis greats Alicia Molik and Sam Smith who announced The crown of the 2021 Osaka Australian Open as a defining moment in modern women’s football.
By winning his fourth Grand Slam title and his second at Melbourne Park, Osaka catapults herself among the welcome by being one of the few modern-era players to have a slam quartet.
It was a coming-of-age clinical performance for Osaka, who won her first Slam as the favorite – and the Japanese star lived up to expectations.
The victory saw the 23-year-old maintain her perfect record in recent Grand Slam appearances, and propels the tale of a “changing of the guard” between her and Serena Williams.
Osaka in many ways has an iconic Williams game and holds a 3-2 victory record over the iconic American, including an infamous 2018 US Open final victory.
She punctuated those numbers with another victory at Melbourne Park en route to this year’s title.
“She is highly regarded as the successor to Serena Williams whom she beat once again a few nights ago here at the Rod Laver arena,” Smith said on Nine after Osaka claimed her last money.
“Serena at 23 had won six Grand Slam titles, she had already finished the ‘Serena Slam’, so Naomi has a bit of a delay, but she’s not too far off the track.
“Surely this is what our sport needs, surely it is what women’s tennis needs – a winner who will win major after major to elevate women’s tennis to the stratosphere that Williams has brought it to.”
Molik added: “I think it’s largely a changing of the guard.
“We saw an emotional Serena Williams the other day, and that’s because I think she felt that.”
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