Japan’s Naomi Osaka has defeated America’s Jennifer Brady in the Australian Open final on Saturday morning, February 20, to win her fourth Grand Slam title.
Osaka, 23, won 6-4 6-3 and has the enviable record of being unbeaten in major finals.
Osaka then seized control from that point, going 4-0 ahead in the second set before sealing a deserved victory with the last set.
Osaka has now won two Australian Open titles after also triumphing at Melbourne Park in 2019, with her other Grand Slam successes coming at the US Open in 2018 and 2020.
Osaka has not suffered a defeat since February 2020 and has won her last 20 matches.
“Hello everyone. Firstly I want to congratulate (and then looks to Brady and asks if she prefers Jenny or Jennifer. ‘Jenny’ is the reply) said Osaka as she clutched the Trophy.
“I’d like to congratulate Jennifer” “It feels incredible to have fans, I played the last Grand Slam without fans, to have this energy means a lot,”
“I really want to thank my team – this one is for you.”Lastly but not least, thankyou to you guys. Thank you for coming and watching. To have this energy really means a lot. Thank you so much.”Thank you for opening your hearts and arms towards us. I feel like playing a Grand Slam right now is a privilege, and thank you for this opportunity.”
Osaka moves up to world No 2 following her latest victory, behind Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, but there is no doubt as to who is the dominant force in women’s tennis right now – especially on hard courts.
In the men’s final, Novak Djokovic will face Medvedev on Sunday.
Messi breaks Barcelona appearance record, scores twice to celebrate
Lionel Messi celebrated a record-breaking 768th appearance for Barcelona with two goals as the Spanish giants thrashed Real Sociedad 6-1 in La Liga.
The king of the Nou Camp will become a free agent this summer when his contract expires, but his statistics for the famous club may never be beaten.
The 33-year-old only drew level with former team-mate, Xavi, during the week.
Messi has now claimed the outright record, after he started against Real Sociedad marking his 768th for the club.
He had surpassed Xavi earlier in the season on Barca’s list of appearance-makers in La Liga alone.
But the game against Real Sociedad takes him to the top of matches played in all competitions.
Of the previous 767 games, Messi’s record stands at won 536, drawn 140 and lost 91.
Less than three months into 2021, Messi has already scored 15 goals in the 12 games he has played. And with another El Clasico on the horizon following the international break, the playmaker will be looking to top up his tally of 26 goals in all competitions against rivals Real Madrid – the most any player has scored in the fixture.
You know you can’t leave’ – Laporta to Messi
New Barcelona president Joan Laporta has made a direct plea to Lionel Messi to stay at he Spanish side as he celebrated his inauguration.
Laporta and Messi, who were both part of Barca’s golden age in the first decade of the 21st century, were pictured embracing prior to the new president’s speech.
And a significant part of the address was aimed directly at the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, who last summer demanded predecessor Josep Bartomeu let him leave.
“In our first spell we had the best players in Barca history, but if we were successful it was because we had stability,” Laporta explained.
“It is Barcelona’s unity which gives you stability and I invite everyone at Barcelona to think about what they can do for Barca.
“I am here to make decisions, like convincing Leo to carry on, taking advantage of the fact that he is here. He knows that.
“You know the affection I hold for you and we will do whatever it takes to keep you here. You know you cannot leave, Leo.
“We will not be able to do it alone. As our anthem says, we are strong all together. More so in these most difficult times. We know how to do it.
“When the pandemic is over our revenue will return. That will be fixed. There will be strong leadership, because I am well-accompanied. We will make decisions. To defend the club you have to live and breathe it and we do that as much as possible.”
Timo Werner to leave Chelsea FC
Chelsea striker, Timo Werner, will leave the club at the end of this season, Football Insider reports.
He has had a bumpy start to his Chelsea career with goals hard to come by for the Germany international.
Werner arrived at Stamford Bridge from RB Leipzig last summer with a reputation as one of Europe’s most prolific strikers following an impressive campaign.
He scored an impressive 34 goals for the Bundesliga outfit in all competitions last term and was expected to set the Premier League alight while taking the Blues from pretenders to contenders.
But he has scored only five times in the Premier League in 27 appearances.
The Germany international has improved slightly after Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in January.
This past week, he was heard being berated by Tuchel from the touch-line for his positioning.
It is now believed Werner could consider leaving the Blues after this season.