m3n4.net April 20, 2019

Osaka wins first set against Kvitova in Australian Open final

27 January 2019, 12:40 | Tracey Rhodes

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

Naomi Osaka has won her first Australian Open crown earning two Grand Slam titles in a row

"Public speaking isn't really my strong side".

"It took me a while to kind of get used to it".

But what else was she going to say?

Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka on Saturday clinched the Australian Open final after overpowering Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova in a scintillating 7-6 (2) 5-7 6-4 win in Melbourne. "I think if I didn't regroup after the second set, then I would have looked back on this match and probably cried or something".

And when quizzed on how she manages to stay so cool in the face of adversity, she revealed she has the ability to "turn her feelings off" and become a "robot". Her defensive efforts and movement stymied all of Kvitova's attempts to find rhythm in the decider. Not only is she playing great tennis, but she's doing it against top players and she's dealing with the pressure of being a defending champion very well.

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This time there was no such controversy surrounding Naomi Osaka's Grand Slam victory. I wanted to win and have the trophy - but I think I already won two years ago.

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By winning the first set, Naomi Osaka extended her run of winning tour matches where she has taken the opening set, to 60, comfortably the longest active streak on the women's tour.

With her gutsy performance in Melbourne backing up her breakthrough in New York, Osaka confirmed herself as the new star in the women's game and fans were expecting her to kick on from here.

The match went on for just under two-and-a-half hours, ending after 2 hours and 27 minutes.

Petra Kvitova feels overwhelmed for reaching the Australian Open after her straight-set match win over Danielle Collins on Thursday. She would not let this lead disappear.

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Saturday's final saw the best and worst of Osaka's game.

This win propels Naomi Osaka to the No.1 rank for the first time in her career, making her the first Asian player - male or female - to have done so.

It was Osaka who was the first to get ahead, tearing through the tiebreaker by grabbing five points in a row - four via winners - to go up 5-1.

But the 21-year-old showed she can fight too, and steeled herself for a 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 6-4 victory at Rod Laver Arena, and there were tears of joy instead of frustration as she sunk to her knees.

The Czech had won her last eight finals and more than played her part in a generally high-quality encounter but in the end had no answer. Osaka is a young, up-and-coming star who proved she's here to say, whereas Kvitova overcame the odds to make it back. The 21-year-old will also be the youngest No. 1 in almost a decade; Caroline Wozniacki was 20 when she first ascended to that spot in 2010.

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