Not since Monica Seles in the early '90s has women's tennis seen this feat. Representing Japan, No. 3 seed Naomi Osaka beat US player Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3 at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Saturday, making her the first woman to claim victory in the first four Grand Slam finals she appeared in. The New York Times notes the last time that happened was when Seles pulled it off in 1990 and '91. The 23-year-old Osaka, who's on a 21-game winning streak, also took home the main trophy at 2019's Australian Open, as well as at the US Open in 2018 and 2020, per the AP.
Only two other currently active women's players can claim more Grand Slam titles than Osaka: Venus Williams, who has seven, and Serena Williams, with 23. "The thing that I'm most proud of is [how] mentally strong I've become," Osaka said before her win, per the Wall Street Journal. "The quarantine process and seeing everything that's going on in the world, for me it put a lot into perspective. ... I used to weigh my entire existence on if I won or lost a tennis match. That's just not how I feel anymore." As for Brady, 25, the No. 22 seed who made her first appearance at a Grand Slam final on Saturday, she told the AP, "Tonight it wasn't meant to be. Hopefully there's many more." (Read more Naomi Osaka stories.)