TENNIS

Naomi Osaka Wins The Australian Open Title, And Becomes The First Japanese World No. 1

Naomi Osaka Wins The Australian Open Title, And Becomes The First Japanese World No. 1

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The 21-year old Japanese, Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open, by defeating the two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in a match which had everything.

It was 2-1 for Osaka, 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-4, after two hours and 30 minutes of play. This was the first head-to-head meeting for these two players.

With this win, the Japanese not only clinched her second Grand Slam title, but also became the world No.1 since next Monday, which is a huge success.

After defeating Serena Williams in the finals of the US Open, Osaka proved that her victory at Flushing Meadows wasn’t just a one-time miracle.

As for the match, Kvitova opened the first set better and had more break chances, but she couldn’t break her rival’s serve. It was 5-3 in saved break-point opportunities for the Japanese, who eventually found the way to stop Czech’s serve in the tiebreak, which she won 7-2.

It appeared that Kvitova bounced back immediately in the next set, when she used a chance for a break in the second game, but Osaka’s response was ferocious. She took the next four games, displaying the best tennis of the entire match in those moments.

However, she failed to keep up that tempo, and also lost four games in a row, dropping the second set despite having three match points, 0-40 in the 9th game. She experienced a meltdown, and suddenly Kvitova was back in the saddle.

But that didn’t last too long, as she lost the third game in the decisive set, the only one in that part of the match, allowing the Japanese to be in front. Kvitova had the chance to get even in the sixth game, but Osaka denied that effort.

The new champion became the first player since Jeniffer Capriati who won two first Grand Slam titles in a row. Also, Osaka is the first Japanese in both ladies and men competition to reach the No.1 in the rankings.

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Petra Kvitova suffered her first defeat in the Grand Slam finals, after winning twice in London. Nevertheless, this is a great success for the Czech player, who was absent for a long time, after the injuries she experienced when a thief attacked her at her home in December 2016. She will be right behind Osaka in the WTA standings.

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