Absolute Legend Naomi Osaka Is Your 2019 Australian Open Women's Champ
00:39, Jan 27, 2019
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With the overwhelming victory, the 21-year-old Japanese sensation secured her second successive Grand Slam.
Here's how the world reacted to the outrageous contest.
Osaka held three match points at 5-3 in the second set but couldn't close it out. Instead, she completely lost her way, dropping 23 of the next 27 points. "Especially against Petra. Petra has these comebacks in the second set and then the third set is like, 6-0 or 6-1". She left the court after the second set with a towel draped over her head.
Osaka's superstar status in the U.S. was solidified when she beat Williams in the U.S. Open women's singles finals in September. It just tastes very great.
"These moments are all about character tests", tennis legend Jim Courier said. Her last loss after winning the opening set in a tour match came against Svetlana Kuznetsova in Tianjin back in 2016.
It was hard to ignore the contrast with the scenes last time round when Osaka was being handed a Grand Slam title to a backdrop of boos from the crowd following Williams' infamous umpire rant.
After taking control of the match in the second set by breaking Kvitova's serve twice in a row, Osaka stumbled while trying to finish the sweep.
There was a lot on the line when Naomi Osaka walked onto the court on Saturday night.
"You've been through so much", Osaka told Kvitova during the trophy ceremony.
But the Japanese said her rise to two-time major champion and world number one in the space of a year "does not feel fast".
"So it was a great final". Well done to Naomi Osaka.
"The ranking was never my real goal, my goal was just to win this tournament".
"To my team, thank you for everything. It probably was not easy, so thank you".
Merely standing there was enough to stir her emotions.
But she found her composure early in the third to break Kvitova's serve and it was an advantage she was able to maintain to close out her win.
She still had to see off a Kvitova break opportunity in the next but held comfortably, her mental demons put to bed. Like in the third set of my match today, I literally just tried to turn off all my feelings. Huge congrats to you Petra.
"Hello, public speaking isn't really my strong side, so let's just see if I can get through this", said Osaka at the trophy presentation.
Kvitova was playing in her first Grand Slam final since winning Wimbledon in 2014 - and the first since she was stabbed in the hand by an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic a little more than two years ago. After that display of power tennis, a simple, chipper "hello" would need to suffice for the millions of fans watching worldwide. "I read notes before this but I still forgot the rest of what I was supposed to say".
"It's insane, I can't believe I just played a final of a Grand Slam again".
Osaka's emotional win has broken a series of records and re-written some of the history books.
She's the first player from Japan to achieve the highest ranking - man or woman - and she'll be the youngest player to get No. 1 since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010 (20 years, 92 days) at 21 years, 104 days old.
Kvitova will become the new world number two on Monday, capping an incredible and courageous rise after there were genuine doubts whether she would return following the trauma of nearly three years ago.
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