Naomi Osaka is the champion of the Australian Open edition 2021 but on her way they were not all roses. In fact, she was close to being eliminated at the hands of Garbiñe Muguruza.
It was in the fourth round a match that would end 4-6, 6-4 and 7-5 in almost two hours of play. That third set in which the Spanish had two break chances to advance to the quarterfinals and was left with the desire.
However, this curious fact is shared with other great winners of the first Grand Slam of the season. For example, in 1991, Monica Seles dodged Mary Joe Fernandez in the semifinals; Jennifer Capriati was in trouble and raised four times to Martina Hingis in the 2002 final; Y Serena Williams became a “specialist” by beating Kim Clijsters in the 2003 semifinals saving 2 MPs and in 2005 Maria Sharapova (3).
Na Li in 2014 was quite a surprise and in the third round she was cornered by Lucie Safarova; in 2016 Angelique Kerber showed signs of character in her debut with Misaki Doi; and in 2018 it was Caroline Woznacki’s turn for the heroic twice in the second round (vs. Jana Fett).