Leaders in the game noted that Osaka’s decision to bypass news conferences came as major media organizations had been cutting back on tennis coverage for years, a troubling dynamic for a sport that battles for exposure.
Osaka won her opening match at the French Open, but was warned that she risked escalating penalties, including default, if she failed to fulfill her media obligations.
The goal was to hold a major international sports event without putting public health at risk. Mission accomplished, but pulling it off presented major, unforeseen challenges and many sleepless nights.
An army of workers toiled to create a safe environment at the Australian Open.
The players at the top, starting with Novak Djokovic, have yet to be significantly challenged by the new generation.
The victory for the top-ranked Djokovic, in three sets over the fourth-ranked Daniil Medvedev of Russia, gave him his 18th career Grand Slam title.
Osaka, 23, has won every Grand Slam final she has reached.
The reigning champion and world No. 1 will play in his ninth Australian Open final. He has yet to lose one.
Williams’s wan wave after losing to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semifinal stirred retirement speculation. GOATs don’t go out that way.
These are not athletic stars who pretend to be impervious to the pressures of their sport.
Osaka won the semifinal in straight sets, denying Williams a chance to tie the record for Grand Slam singles titles.
The tennis champion is changing the game in multiple ways.
Stefanos Tsitsipas upset Nadal in five sets in Melbourne, ending his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam singles championship.
Williams and Osaka will play for the second time at a Grand Slam. Plus, Novak Djokovic faces an unlikely semifinal opponent: a 27-year-old in his first Grand Slam main draw.
Barty, the No. 1 seed in the women’s singles draw, had won the first set comfortably but fell to the 25th-seeded Karolina Muchova.
Two Americans, Jennifer Brady and Jessica Pegula, feature in a quarterfinal at the Australian Open.
Williams dispatched Simona Halep to avenge an embarrassing defeat in their previous meeting. Next up? Osaka in a star-studded semifinal.
How is this elite tennis player different from all other tennis players? Let us count the ways. But can he win a Grand Slam title?
The unknown Russian became one of the few players to make the semifinal of a Grand Slam after surviving the qualifying tournament.
Hsieh Su-Wei’s overhead drop shots, wicked spins and two-handed shots can rattle her opponents. Naomi Osaka will see them next.
Players are calling this the fastest Grand Slam tennis court they have played on. Technicians say the speed hasn’t changed. Who is right?
Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic are playing to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open.
Against Aryna Sabalenka, Williams called back to a much earlier phase of her career, well before she was the undisputed queen of her sport.
The next generation of American men are still searching for a big win on a Grand Slam stage against the best players.
For five days the Australian Open had cozy stadiums half-filled with fervent fans, and sports once again felt normal. Then a snap lockdown quieted the stands.
While some players blamed strict virus measures for their troubles at the event, Jennifer Brady of the United States thinks it might have helped her advance.
The prestige and difficulty of reaching the round of 16 in a tennis major means many players need multiple tries to break through.
A squabble at the Australian Open between stars with different styles.
The tournament will continue without spectators because professional athletes are considered essential workers under the new restrictions in Victoria state.
The 22-year-old American lost in the second round to an unseeded player, Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.
Rafael Nadal and Ashleigh Barty will play on Day 4 of the tournament.
Williams played through a painful ankle injury in her second-round match against Sara Errani. But her grit could not prevent her latest defeat.
Carlos Alcaraz is thriving on the men’s tennis tour and reminding a lot of people of a teenage sensation in the early 2000s who was also from Spain.
She won the United States Open in 2019 but has barely played since then because of injury and the pandemic. Yet it is after long layoffs she has been the most dangerous.
Fans, noise, lines for food and booze. In a country that has the coronavirus under control, a tennis championship delivers a glimpse of what sports can one day be again.
“Amazing!” Serena Williams said of Tom Brady’s seventh Super Bowl win. Of course, he’s never won a title while pregnant.
Serena Williams will once again go for her 24th Grand Slam title. Among her competition: three women who won titles in their most recent Grand Slam appearances.
Iga Swiatek of Poland came out of nowhere to win the French Open in October. A sports psychologist was with her all the way.
Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic are all in action on Rod Laver Arena in Round 1 of the 2021 Australian Open.
But Naomi Osaka could face a tough path in the women’s draw at the Australian Open.
Australians have gone to great lengths to control the coronavirus. And some don’t want to throw that away for a tennis tournament.
Such numbers would make the tennis tournament a sports rarity during the pandemic, though attendance would still be down by about half from a normal year.
The organizers of the Australian Open promised local residents that the tournament would not set off a coronavirus outbreak. Making good on that promise is very complex.
The athletes waiting in quarantine for the Australian Open are figuring out creative ways to stay busy (and swing a tennis racket) before they can hit the court.
With several positive tests among people arriving from abroad, and a strict quarantine, the Australian Open is not going the way organizers expected it would.
After three people on two charter flights tested positive for the coronavirus, 47 players will not be allowed to practice for two weeks.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion had two knee surgeries in 2020. He wants to come back, but it remains unclear when he will play.
With infections surging in other parts of the world, the first Grand Slam tennis event of 2021 has been delayed by three weeks, according to a schedule released by the men’s tour.