MELBOURNE - Naomi Osaka won her second consecutive Grand Slam women’s title Saturday, defeating Petra Kvitova 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-4 in the final of the Australian Open. The victory ensures that Osaka will be the first Asian tennis player to reach No. 1 in the world rankings, ESPN reported.
Osaka replaces Simona Halep, who was No. 1 for 48 weeks, the BBC reported. Osaka, 21, is also the youngest player to hold the top spot since 20-year-old Caroline Wozniacki did it in 2010, according to the BBC.
Osaka also became the first woman since 2001 to win both of her first two Grand Slam finals, ESPN reported. Jennifer Capriati won the Australian and French opens in 2001. Before she reached the U.S. Open final against Serena Williams last year, Osaka had never made it past the fourth round of a major tournament.
Osaka’s win at the U.S. Open was overshadowed by Williams’ argument against chair umpire Carlos Ramos, ESPN reported. Ramos issued point and game penalties against Williams, which took away the focus from Osaka’s victory.
Victory against Kvitova was in Osaka’s grasp until the Czech broke back to a 5-5 tie in the second set en route to winning 12 straight points. However, Osaka took control in the third set to put the match away.