Naomi Osaka is the most talented tennis player in the world, and she is, according to many, the legit successor of Serena Williams. Currently, the no.2 player in the world has the highest chances for reaching the top spot in the WTA rankings at the end of the campaign and winning at least one more Grand Slam trophy.
She took the opening Grand Slam this season in Australia, defeating the American Jennifer Brady in the finals 6-4, 6-3. It was her second Aussie Open trophy and the fourth overall GS. Over the past three years, she has been the only one to win multiple Grand Slams. To be precise, out of 8 tournaments, she won four, which tells a lot when explaining her dominance.
The bookmakers believe that there are high chances for Osaka to stay on the winning trail. Odds on her taking one more Grand Slam until the end of the year are 7/1, to end the season with three major trophies 33/1, and to complete the sweep, which would be incredible 100/1. The last time anyone did that was in 1988, when Steffi Graff took all four Slams.
The debates about her near future are intense, and many believe that she has enough quality to win at least one big title until the end of the year. Some suggest that two are also realistic, with Roland Garros being the only Grand Slam where she doesn’t stand a chance to lift the trophy.
Her odds for the win in Paris are 10/1, which is enough to share fourth place on the favorites list with Ashleigh Barty, who recently won the Miami Open. Garbine Muguruza is 8/1, Simona Halep 6/1, and the top favorite is the current champion from the previous edition, the Polish player Iga Swiatek. Even though she is among the top candidates, according to bookmakers, the experts don’t believe that she might do anything notable at Garros.
But when it comes to the other two Grand Slams, Wimbledon and the Australian Open, her chances to win one of those are much better. Throughout career, the 23-year old showed much better performances on faster surfaces, mostly because of her powerful strokes, which are practically impossible to defend.
Osaka is the top favorite to win the Wimbledon, with the odds on that 7/1. The Australian, Barty, follows the Japanese, 8/1, and Halep sits third 17/2. Petra Kvitova is 10/1, and the seven-time winner, Serena Williams, comes after that at 11/1. As for the US Open, arguably her favorite tournament, Osaka tops the list too, 9/2, ahead of Barty one again, 9/1, Bianca Andreescu, 10/1, Serena 11/1, and Halep 12/1.
Osaka is the No.1 contender to win the Olympic Games in Tokyo as well. As said before, she is a favorite at any tournament on a hard surface, and this year’s Olympic Games take place on one such turf.
All in all, this could be one amazing year for Osaka because she has a unique opportunity to do something rarely seen before, and that is to win all the Grand Slams and the Olympics. In fact, the only one to achieve such success was Graf did that in 1988.
If, by any chance, she manages to do that, Osaka would be catapulted to the echelon of the most prominent players in the history of tennis. And to be honest, she has enough potential for that. At the age of 23, the Japanese already has four Grand Slams, all of them won recently, with realistic chances to double that number over the next two years. That would match Serena Williams’s pace, giving Osaka a chance to attack Margaret Court’s record and becoming the player with the most GS titles.
This might sound crazy, but when you look at it, it could happen.