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

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

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

The 21-year-old from Japan, the first Asian man or woman to top the singles rankings, built on her maiden title at the US Open with a 7-6 (2) 5-7 6-4 victory to make it back-to-back slam successes.

On Monday, when the new tennis rankings are updated, the Japanese-born Osaka, who is now ranked No. 5 in the world, will move all the way to the top, becoming the first Asian player of any gender to hold the No. 1 spot, according to The Telegraph. Kvitova had five break-point opportunities in the opening set but could not convert any of them and then went on to lose the tiebreaker in her first meeting against the Japanese.

Osaka regained her cool and clipped a clean backhand victor to take a break point in the third game of the decider, going on to see off a Kvitova break opportunity, her mental demons put to bed.

Petra Kvitova said she "already won two years ago" as the victim of a knife attack in 2016 put things into perspective following her defeat to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open final.

Her US Open victory was the first by a Japanese player and she is now the youngest woman to win back-to-back majors since Martina Hingis in 1998 and the youngest number one since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010.

"Thank you for sticking with me even when we didn't know if I would able to hold a racquet again", Kvitova told her team, with her voice cracking. "I'm really honored to have played you in the final of a Grand Slam".

"Amazing achievement", two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova said.

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"I feel great. I'm playing great tennis". Osaka, meanwhile, entered the day having won 59 matches anywhere after going up by a set. I want her to win on grass...

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.

Kvitova, however, broke Osaka and secured a second break to clinch the set and force a third and deciding set. When she won the next three points to bring up three match points, it appeared the trophy was hers.

"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.

The victor at Melbourne Park will also move to No. 1 for the first time when the next women's rankings are released.

Kvitova would not surrender, saving three break points before again forcing Osaka to serve it out. Both players were playing for a No. 1 ranking, and although Osaka came out on top, Kvitova showed that at 28 she has plenty left in the tank.

Osaka defeated World No. 8 Petra Kvitova 7 (7)-6 (2), 5-7, 6-4 to become the World No. 1 for the first time ever in her career. Besides, social media platforms will also be providing the live updates of the match. It's the final. I think you will just get few chances. A comeback was nearly expected of Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion with the affectionate nickname P3tra for her tendency to come back.

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