AFTER winning US Open 2018, Naomi Osaka, professional tennis player representing Japan, has achieved another feat by becoming 2019 Australian Open champion in women’s singles. Despite squandering three match points at 5-3 in the second set, Naomi Osaka regrouped to beat Petra Kvitova 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-4 to win a dramatic Australian Open final. Her second consecutive grand slam title ensures she will be the new world No 1 in Women’s tennis. Osaka beating Czech Petra Kvitova in a thrilling Australian Open final wins back-to-back Grand Slams. The US Open winner, 21, shed tears after missing three championship points in the second set but regrouped to win 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-4.The fourth seed broke for 2-1 in the decider, then served out the win at the crowded Melbourne stadium. Eighth seed Kvitova, 28, was bidding for her first major title since being stabbed in a knife attack. Naomi Osaka said she was “in a state of shock” on Saturday after holding her nerve to battle past Petra Kvitova to win the Australian Open in a three-set thriller that also delivered her the world number one ranking. The fourth seed and US Open champion triumphed 7-6 (7/2), 5-7, 6-4 in a 2hr 27min epic over the Czech eighth seed to claim back-to-back Grand Slams and become the first Asian, male or female, to hold the top spot. The youngster, born in Japan’s Osaka, fell to one knee in celebration, head bowed, as Melbourne Park erupted in thunderous cheers, reports The Gurdian.
“I felt like I was in a state of shock through the entire trophy presentation’.Kvitova forced a deciding set before Osaka finally edged ahead with a decisive break early in the third.”Of course I felt very disappointed and sad when I had three match points,” she said.”I tried to tell myself there’s nothing I can do about it. Told myself I’m playing a final and need to keep fighting and couldn’t act immature and needed to keep fighting, ” says The Guardian. It was her first Grand Slam decider since a burglar slashed her racquet hand in a 2016 knife attack and the Czech has shown she is again a contender at the majors.”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.”It’s crazy. I can hardly believe that I just played in a Grand Slam final again.”Predictions of a slugfest between two of the game’s biggest hitters proved accurate as the pair went toe-to-toe in the first set. They had never met before and Osaka initially struggled to unlock the lanky left-hander’s serve, while Kvitova at times could not handle her opponent’s powerful returns. The Czech mixed up her game with drop shots and changes of pace but blew three break chances in a crunch sixth game in the first set. Kvitova saved two set points to force a tie-break but Osaka ran away with it 7-2, taking the first set the Czech had conceded in the entire tournament. Kvitova regrouped and kept her hopes alive with the first break of the match, going up 2-0 in the second. saved all of them, forcing Osaka to serve for the title. 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.The Czech broke again to seize momentum with her fourth straight game, claiming the set as Osaka left the court with a towel draped over her head. Osaka regained her cool and clipped a clean backhand winner 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. Kvitova would not surrender, saving three break points before again forcing Osaka to serve it out.But Osaka could not be tamed .