Osaka prefers to 'live in the moment' rather than speculating about the future

Naomi Osaka won her second Australian Open title and fourth Grand Slam in total.

Japan's Naomi Osaka celebrates with the trophy after winning her final Australian Open match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S. February 20, 2021.   -  Reuters

Naomi Osaka maintained her perfect Grand Slam final record and added a second Australian Open title to her two U.S. Open crowns on Saturday. She said she would rather "live in the moment" than set ambitious targets for further Grand Slam glory.

The Japanese third seed overpowered American Jennifer Brady 6-4 6-3 at the Rod Laver Arena and is now in the bracket of luminaries like Kim Clijsters and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, who also won four Slams.

With her career still budding at the age of 23, further major trophies will be expected to follow, particularly if Osaka can convert her hardcourt form to clay and grass.

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"Right now, I'm trying to go for five," she told reporters after winning a 21st completed match in succession.

"I like to take things not big-picture. For me, I like to live in the moment.

"But I don't want to weigh myself down with pressure and expectations. I know that the people that I'm playing against are the best players in the world and if my time comes to win another Grand Slam, it will come.

Osaka equalled the elite record winning all four of her first Grand slams, a record held by players like Roger Federer and Monica Seles.

She said her big-match credentials might have stemmed from childhood when she felt more motivated to win in front of a rare audience.

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"I didn't play a lot of tournaments when I was a kid, so I'd always want to take the opportunity whenever someone was watching me, I'd feel like it was more fun that way," she said.

"So maybe that's how I developed wanting a crowd and wanting to play in front of more people.

There was nearly two years' wait between her first and second braces of Grand Slam titles at Flushing Meadows and Melbourne Park, a period in which Osaka struggled to deal with her standing in the game.

She said she always forced herself to be stronger was now far more self-aware.

"I think what I have learned on and off the court is it's okay to not be sure about yourself," she added."

"I feel like the biggest thing that I want to achieve is -- this is going to sound really odd, but hopefully I play long enough to play a girl that said that I was once her favourite player or something."

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