Juggernaut: Naomi Osaka wins second Australian Open crown

Category: Sports


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. crush / krʌʃ / (v) – to completely defeat someone

    Andrew crushed his opponent in chess and won the match in less than 5 minutes.

  2. company / ˈkʌm pə ni / (n) – the person or people who are with someone

    Oh, you have company? Sorry, I thought you were alone.

  3. unfold / ʌnˈfoʊld / (v) – to happen or develop through time

    The events leading to the violent riot unfolded over a period of 18 months.

  4. await / əˈweɪt / (v) – to be coming in the future for someone or something

    A surprise party awaits Diane when she gets home.

  5. changing of the guard / ˈtʃeɪndʒ ɪŋ ʌv ðə gɑrd / (idiom) – a change in the individual or group that leads something

    There will be a changing of the guard at my company next year when several directors retire at the same time.


Read the text below.

Naomi Osaka crushed Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3 to secure her second Australian Open title on Feb. 20 and cement her standing as the new queen of the women’s game.

Osaka’s one-sided win over the 22nd-seeded American in the final at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne gave the Japanese juggernaut her fourth major crown, with her career still budding at the age of 23.

She joined Monica Seles and Roger Federer in an elite club — players who have won their first four Grand Slam finals.

“My reaction is that that’s very amazing company,” Osaka told reporters, sitting next to the winner’s Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.

“I hope that I can have one grain of how their career has unfolded. But you can only wish and you can only just keep going down your own path. … But it’s definitely something crazy to hear.”

More major trophies surely await if she can convert her irresistible hard court form to French Open clay and grass at Wimbledon.

Having humbled Serena Williams in the semifinal, a victory that reinforced a changing of the guard, Osaka was untroubled by the 25-year-old Brady in the clash of power hitters.

“Tonight I felt like (it) was more of a mental battle,” said Osaka, who first won at Rod Laver Arena in 2019. (Reuters)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Osaka is only 23 but already has four Grand Slam titles. Do you think she’ll have a long, successful career? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Osaka continues to be humble, stating that she hopes she “can have one grain” of how Seles’ and Federer’s careers unfolded. Do you think it’s important for sports stars to be humble, or is it okay for them to brag sometimes? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Osaka beat Williams in the semifinal, reinforcing a changing of the guard. Emotionally, how do you feel about this changing of the guard (ex. proud, a little sad)? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think a changing of the guard is needed in other aspects of life (ex. the government, your company’s management)? Why or why not? Discuss.