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Tennis Australian Open - How Naomi Osaka grew up before our very eyes

27 January, 2019, 00:37 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Naomi Osaka has won her first Australian Open crown earning two Grand Slam titles in a row

Her defensive efforts and movement stymied all of Kvitova's attempts to find rhythm in the decider.

"We're used to seeing players go away after losing such a big lead", explained Courtney Nguyen, a senior writer for WTA Insider who has been covering tennis for more than a decade.

"Thanks to my team".

Martina Navratilova added to the plaudits, saying: "Well, after winning the US Open Naomi Osaka became a star".

She also paid tribute to her beaten opponent Kvitova, who has won plaudits for battling back from a career-threatening knife attack two years ago to very almost clinch what would have been a third Grand Slam title. I want her to win on grass...

To everyone who just hummed the rest of the song, yes, that is from the Pokémon theme song.

Referencing that horrendous incident in the post-match presentation inside Rod Laver Arena, Osaka addressed her opponent and said: "Huge congrats to you, Petra". The next global superstar has arrived.

While Osaka will become the new women's number one, replacing Romanian Simona Halep, when the world rankings are released on Monday, Kvitova will be a spot behind.

Petra Kvitova was proud of her second-set fightback against Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open final on Saturday but was left ruing her inability to convert her chances in her loss to the Japanese.

Saturday's final saw the best and worst of Osaka's game. For Osaka, the victory made her the new No. 1 in the world, and the first Japanese player to ever rise to No. 1. But Kvitova played terrifically there, while Osaka began to get jittery.


She broke Kvitova in the third game of the final set and converted her fifth matchpoint to end a superb final in two hours and 27 minutes, receiving the acclaim of the crowd in stark contrast to her last Grand Slam success.

She edged Czech tennis player Kvitova 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-4.

Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion of 2011 and 2014, had been looking to secure a fairytale win, just over two years on from sustaining career-threatening injuries to her left hand in a knife attack at her home.

Osaka managed to stop the rot, though, making it 1-1 in the third set as her coach Sascha Bajin leapt to his feet and shouted encouragement.

The 21-year-old started her victory speech by apologizing for not being a strong "public speaker", then stopped halfway through to put the trophy down.

Nerves took hold as Osaka conceded a break to make it 5-5, smashing a ball into the ground and putting her hands over her ears. She yelled at herself.

"I've always dreamt of being in this position and I am honoured to be part of the elite group of players who have reached the No.1 ranking".

The 2019 Australian Open women's singles final was simply epic.

It happened to Naomi Osaka herself in the third round of the 2016 U.S. Open, when she went up 5-1 and lost five straight games and the match to Madison Keys.

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