Tennis Betting: Naomi Osaka Chasing History
She is only the No. 2 ranked player in the world, despite just winning her fourth Grand Slam title in the Australian Open, but clearly Naomi Osaka is the next all-time tennis great.
She won’t be 24 until October and already has a pair of U.S. Open titles to go along with her now two Australian Open betting wins. All of the greats — Serena Williams, Steffi Graff, Chris Evert, and Martina Navratilova — lost a Grand Slam final before they made it to four total wins. So on that front, Osaka has already made history.
Eyeing 24 Grand Slams
Not since 2012 has a woman other than Serena Williams won a fourth major title. That year it was Maria Sharapova winning the French Open to claim her fourth Grand Slam.
What makes Osaka’s run so incredible is that it is coming in the face of a pandemic, making training and playing conditions less than ideal.
Her most recent U.S. Open win was contested without fans in the stands. While this month’s Australian Open began with a 50% capacity before the government suddenly issued lockdown orders, emptying the crowds. Organizers issued quarantines to players traveling to the tournament, making pre-tournament training a challenge.
Once the world normalizes, does Osaka have a chance to get to 24 Grand Slam titles and equal Margaret Court? Sure, Serena Williams is 16 years older than Osaka and still playing at a championship level.
Williams was just ousted by Osaka in the semifinals in straight sets, but is now back into the top 10 and proves that two decades of dominance is possible.
Osaka will need to do better off the hard courts. She’s great on the surfaces played in Melbourne and New York, but she has to eventually win on the clay in Paris and the grass in Wimbledon.
Her next Grand Slam test is at the French Open in June, and online bookmakers list her at +850 to win the title. Defending champion Iga Swiatek and 2018 champion Simona Halep are co-favorites, both priced at +450.
Serena’s Chase for 24
Osaka still has a long way to go in her efforts to match Court, but Williams remains just one Grand Slam win away. Although it’s been since 2017 since she won her 23rd, and will turn 40 years old in September.
Her longtime coach says he doesn’t believe that Williams will retire before winning her 24th because winning another Grand Slam event was the entire reason she made her comeback in 2017, following the birth of daughter Alexis.
Although after her loss in the semifinals to Osaka, it did have the air of a goodbye, as she received a standing ovation from the crowd, leaving the court with tears in her eyes.
But still, she’s a three-time winner in France and a seven-time winner at Wimbledon, and online oddsmakers have her tied as 11th-most likely to win at Roland-Garros (+1200) and tied for the second-most likely to win at Wimbledon (+750).