Naomi Osaka won the 2021 Australian Open, becoming the third player in the Open Era to win each of their first four major finals, joining Monica Seles and Roger Federer.
Osaka, who swept American Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3 in the final in Melbourne, has now captured two Australian Opens and two U.S. Opens. Only Serena Williams and Venus Williams own more Grand Slam singles titles among active women.
Osaka’s most memorable match of the tournament was her semifinal — a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Serena Williams, denying Williams’ latest bid for a record-tying 24th major title. Osaka also saved two match points against Spaniard Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round.
Top-ranked Ash Barty of Australia was stunned in the quarterfinals by Czech Karolina Muchova.
American Sofia Kenin, the defending champion and fourth seed, was upset in the second round.
Coco Gauff, the 16-year-old American who beat Osaka in the 2020 Australian Open, was unseeded and fell to No. 5 Elina Svitolina in the second round.
The next major is the French Open starting in late May, after which the Tokyo Olympic fields will be determined.
Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.
Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.
Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.
She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.
Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.
Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.
Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.
The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.
Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.
Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.
Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.
The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.
In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.
Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.
“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”