Osaka Wins AO, Becomes World Number One


Naomi Osaka defeated Petra Kvitova 7-6(2) 5-7 6-4  to win the Australian Open on Saturday.  The win earned her the world number one ranking .  She is the first player from an Asian country to hold the world number one ranking.  With her US Open win over Serena in 2018, Osaka now has won two back to back grand slam titles.

In a 2 hr 27 minute match, Osaka blew three championship points in the second set but stayed focused to win.  The shy and humble Japanese player told  Kvitova during her speech at the trophy presentation,  “I’m really honored to have played you in the final of a Grand Slam”. She added, ” I read notes before this but I still forgot the rest of what I was supposed to say”.

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Serena Loses to Pliskova After Having Match Points in the Third Set

Serena Williams suffered a third set collapse against Karolina Pliskova. Pliskova won 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 .

After leading 5-1 in the final set, Wlliams’ game unraveled. She had four match points but couldn’t convert. Williams , it appeared, rolled her ankle, which affected her movement after she had landed awkwardly in a foot-fault on the first of four match points . Pliskova picked up her game from that point and William could not find hers.

“I did everything I could on those match points,” Williams said. “I can’t say that I choked. [Pliskova] literally played her best tennis ever on those shots. I’ve never seen anything like it. Next time I’m up 5-1 against anybody, I need to make sure I play lights out. It’s a good learning experience.”

“I just felt a chance,” Pliskova said of that moment. “For sure it was in her head. I saw a chance and I just took it.”

Pliskova next plays US Open champion Naomi Osaka, who easily beat Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-1. In the other semifinal, American Danielle Collins plays Petra Kvitova.

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