Naomi Osaka, Australian Open Champion and WTA Number One


[4] Naomi Osaka (JPN) vs. [8] Petra Kvitova (CZE)

At stake was not only a major title but the number one ranking; thus, a battle was expected.  It was a match worthy of both champions. Neither gave an inch in the first set; therefore, it was no surprise that it went to a tiebreak. Despite struggling on her serve the entire first set, it was Osaka who was dominant in the tiebreak.

Naomi Osaka celebrates her hard fought victory.

Osaka played with calm; yet, there had to be nerves and one wondered at what stage in the match those nerves would manifest. She broke early in the second set and things appeared grim for Kvitova. However, Kvitova is a two-time champion for a reason and she continued to fight.

At 5-4, Osaka served for the match to win it in straight sets and that was when the nerves reared their ugly heads; she could not make a first serve and Kvitova aggressively attacked the second serve to break and stay alive in the match.  Frazzled by being unable to serve it out, Osaka was promptly broken again to lose the set 5-7.

Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova

The championship was now one set away for each player, who wanted it the most? Perhaps, who would handle the occasion better and execute their shots better was the more relevant question. Osaka broke early again and this time she would not crumble under the nerves.

At 5-4, Osaka stepped up to the line one more time to serve for the championship and this time her steely resolve held. She made her first serves and played with focus to win 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-4.

Naomi Osaka with the Australian Open trophy.

Osaka won back-to-back majors for the first time since Jennifer Capriati did so in 2001. However, just as important, she became the number one ranked female player and is the first Japanese player to be ranked number.


SOURCE OF IMAGES: serveandrally


  1. Congratulations Naomi!! A well deserved win for a beautiful young lady!! So happy for her. Only wish that the US had given her the money to play for us!! Never the less…..congrats to Japan as well!

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