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Naomi Osaka joins Roger Federer & Monica Seles as the only players to win their first 4 Slam finals

Naomi Osaka poses with the 2021 Australian Open trophy
Naomi Osaka poses with the 2021 Australian Open trophy
Rudra Biswas
Modified 20 Feb 2021

Naomi Osaka topped Jennifer Brady on Saturday to clinch her second Australian Open title and fourth Grand Slam title overall. With the win, the Japanese has also joined an exclusive club - she is now one of only three players in the Open Era to win their first four Slam finals, alongside Roger Federer and Monica Seles.

After starting her Australian Open campaign in blistering form, Naomi Osaka was made to work hard in the fourth round against Garbine Muguruza. The 23-year-old was forced to stave off multiple match points during her encounter with the Spaniard, but she eventually came through.

Going the distance in one of her matches was probably all that Naomi Osaka needed. In her semifinal against Serena Williams, Osaka played possibly her best match of the week. She was not intimidated by the 23-time Major champion, and kept her focus razor-sharp to win by a comfortable margin.

Unlike Monica Seles and Naomi Osaka, Roger Federer was a late bloomer at the Slams

Roger Federer poses with the Wimbledon trophy in 2003
Roger Federer poses with the Wimbledon trophy in 2003

Naomi Osaka, Monica Seles and Roger Federer all achieved the feat of winning their first four Slam finals at a relatively young age, but Federer was arguably the latest bloomer of the three.

As a 19-year-old, Federer beat Pete Sampras in the fourth round of Wimbledon 2001 to announce himself on the global stage. But the Swiss took another two years to win his first Slam title, beating Andy Roddick in the semifinals of Wimbledon 2003 and Mark Phillippoussis in the final.

Roger Federer was then quiet for a few months after that, before he returned to winning ways at the Tennis Masters Cup.

It was in 2004 that Federer finally started taking concrete steps towards greatness. He became the undisputed World No. 1 for the first time in his career after winning the 2004 Australian Open. The Swiss maestro would then go on to win Wimbledon and US Open in the same season, thus becoming the second player since Monica Seles to have won their first four Grand Slam finals.

Monica Seles' records as a youngster are some of the most jaw-dropping in tennis history. Seles became the youngest ever French Open champion at the age of 16, and then went on to win eight Grand Slam singles titles before her 20th birthday.

Seles registered three-Slam haul in 1991, winning the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open as a 17-year-old. That made her the first player in the Open Era to have won their first four Major finals.

Published 20 Feb 2021, 19:01 IST
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