Naomi Osaka becomes World No 1 after clinching Australian Open title

Naomi Osaka has won her first Australian Open crown earning two Grand Slam titles in a row
Naomi Osaka has won her first Australian Open crown earning two Grand Slam titles in a row More
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27 January, 2019

Such power can be volatile over the course of three sets and she was brought to tears when broken serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set.

The 21-year-old came back from an emotional breakdown in the second set - where she wasted three Championship points - to secure the trophy. It's what makes Naomi Osaka a two-time Grand Slam champion.

"I wanted to win and have the trophy, but I think I already won two years ago", she said. "Just thank you everyone and I am really honoured to have played in this final".

Kvitova was injured in a knife attack by an intruder at her home in December 2016, initially fearing the end of her career, but the Czech reached her first Grand Slam final since her second Wimbledon title in 2014.

She remarkably returned to the sport five months after the attack, going on to win six WTA titles since and will climb back up to number two in the rankings on Monday.

Her jubilation was a marked contrast to Osaka's maiden Slam win previous year, when she tearfully hid her face as boos rang around Flushing Meadows in the wake of losing finalist Serena Williams' tirade at the umpire.

Kvitova held serve and then broke a wilting Osaka again to take the set as the rattled Japanese walked off for a bathroom break with a towel over her head.

It was a second successive Grand Slam crown for the Japanese, after her U.S. Open triumph in September, and she became the first Asian player to claim the world number one ranking in the process. But mostly, thank you for sticking with me even when we didn't know if I would able to hold a racquet again. "Every single day supporting me, which I really needed, it wasn't easy". To be honest, I think not very many people believe that I can do that again, to stand on the court and play tennis and kind of play on this level.

"In New York, most of the crowd was for Serena and here it felt like it was split a little bit", she said. "Every time I have a dream, somehow I accomplish it, I still feel like it's a very odd moment".

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The Japanese tennis player was seen yelling at herself, slamming a ball off the court and tugging at her pink visor.

But just like when Williams was having her temper tantrum at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Osaka didn't seem to be letting the controversy get to her and went about her business calmly here - for 90 minutes, at least.

The never-say-die Kvitova forced a deciding set before Osaka finally edged ahead with a decisive break early in the third.

Osaka's meltdown was all the more baffling given she had not lost for 59 matches after winning the first set.

And with the win comes another milestone - Osaka will become the game's newest world No.1.

"Huge congrats to you and your team and you are really fantastic and I am really honoured to have played you in the final of a grand slam".

"Her exciting brand of tennis, coupled with the dignity she displays on and off court, is a winning combination that tennis fans really embrace". Now she's leaving as No. 1.

The 21-year-old, though, was not ready to give up and a double fault on the Kvitova serve handed her a break point and a huge backhand sealed the game to give her a 2-1 advantage.


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