Naomi Osaka wins Australian Open title

Posted January 27, 2019

At 21, Osaka is the youngest No. 1 in almost a decade; Caroline Wozniacki was 20 when she first ascended to that spot in 2010.

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

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. Every single day you have been supporting me and staying positive for me, which I really needed. "So just thank you everyone and I'm really honored to have played in this final".

Osaka was reluctant to say how she felt compared to Flushing Meadows but believed she and Kvitova were fairly supported in Melbourne. She allowed Kvitova to come back and win 23 of 27 points to take that set and go up 1-0 in the third.

Osaka appeared to be broken when she walked off court after Kvitova ripped through four straight service games to claim the second set. Then her ascent to the very top of the women's game, she had to confront her own anxieties after seeming to blow a gilt edged chance of victory and re-gathered her composure to beat two times Wimbledon...

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Tears fell down Naomi Osaka's cheeks as she left the court for a comfort break to gear herself up for a third set she had not expected was coming in Saturday's Australian Open final.

But it seems like she'll never lose her charm or poise on display in these championship moments.

Osaka, who refused to hold a press conference prior to the final, started well on serve but had to defend a break point when leading 3-2. "But then when I hugged her at the net..."

"We didn't know if I would be able to hold a racquet again".

Osaka was yelling at herself. She has more than earned the right to be her slightly awkward and self-aware self.

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The 21-year-old, who will claim the world No.1 ranking on Monday, joined the Channel 9 team of Sam Smith, Jim Courier and Tony Jones for a post-match sit-down. "I think it showed me that I could win matches from behind, just on willpower alone".

Osaka broke early before securing her second Grand Slam title.

The 21-year-old has made history, a few times, in the span of a year.

In the ski resort of Hakuba, which hosted events during the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998, a small group of tennis fans celebrated as they watched the final at the local sports bar.

And to think, a year ago, Osaka was ranked 72nd. "I don't think I played something really badly, but I just think I should maybe have gone a little bit more aggressive on one or two rallies". Kvitova was in the same ballpark, winning 71 percent of her first serves and 51 percent of her second serves.

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"Hello, sorry, public speaking isn't really my strong suit so I just hope we can get through this", Osaka said after receiving the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup from former champion Li Na and a winner's cheque of just over 4 million dollars.