Naomi Osaka wins Australian Open title


Osaka had three championship points as Kvitova served at 3-5, 0-40 in set two, but the Japanese was pegged back in sensational fashion inside Rod Laver Arena. It took me really while to believe, to the people around me again, and especially to the men, for sure.

The Czech star was all class even as tears appeared in her eyes when thanking the team that has stuck with her in her comeback from two years ago. "I feel great. I'm playing great tennis".

"I wanted to enjoy my time here".

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

It took Osaka until the second game of the decider to restore her equilibrium, and much to her credit she held serve and then broke as errors started to reappear from the other side of the net. "I don't think that I could really imagine ..."

Osaka, whose father is Haitian and mother is Japanese, has helped to break new ground in Japan, challenging the country's traditional self-image as a racially homogenous country. Their strategy was to target Sharma at the baseline relentlessly, and although the 23-year-old stuck in several extended rallies valiantly, the Czech-American team would end up breaking down her forehand more often than not.

"You were there every single day, supporting me and staying positive for me, which I really needed".

'I just felt kind of hollow, like I was a robot sort of, ' she continued.

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Osaka is the youngest woman to win back-to-back majors since Martina Hingis in 1998 and the youngest number one since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010.

But Courier says Osaka now has "justice" after storming into the spotlight all by herself.

The sulking that spoiled her exit in Brisbane earlier this month reared its head when she wasted three championship points and then got broken at 5-3 in the second set, slamming her racquet into her knees. Before the Australian Open, she was ranked No.5 in the world.

Osaka's victory Down Under, and accompanying post-match presentation in which both players were handed generous plaudits, was all very different to the win over Serena Williams in NY back in September. Will she be able to handle the attention coming her way?

She also paid tribute to her beaten opponent Kvitova, who has won plaudits for battling back from a career-threatening knife attack two years ago to very almost clinch what would have been a third Grand Slam title.

Osaka, it is hard to compare and I don't really want to but her first grand slam win was easy, relatively speaking for her.

"Huge congrats to you, Petra", she began.

Osaka said that she usually makes her decisions by thinking "what would Serena do?"