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Now No. 1, Osaka wins majors to strains of Jay Rock's 'Win'

27 January 2019

With the win Osaka became Asia's first world number one and the first player of any nation to win her first two Grand Slam titles back-to-back since Jennifer Capriati in 2001.

A rattled Osaka nearly blew her title hopes with one hand on the trophy when she failed to convert three championship points leading 5-3 in the second set. After Kvitova double-faulted to offer up a break point at 1-all, Osaka converted it with a cross-court backhand victor.

Australian newspaper the Herald Sun, emroiled in a row over a Serena Williams cartoon a year ago after the US Open controversy, said that this time round there was "no sulking loser" to spoil Osaka's party. Not many of them win 14 in a row to become the first new victor since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to snare back-to-back Slams. But Kvitova played terrifically there, while Osaka began to get jittery.

In the subsequent tie break she simply outplayed Kvitova, thumping down service winners and opening up the court, with the Czech's body language becoming somewhat negative, as it is prone to do.

Petra Kvitova feels overwhelmed for reaching the Australian Open after her straight-set match win over Danielle Collins on Thursday.

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.

Kvitova was 21 when she made her Grand Slam breakthrough at Wimbledon in 2011 and was a star on the rise, much like Osaka is now. And now, after winning the Australian Open and becoming world number 1, she is a superstar!

The victim of a home invasion two years ago, the two-time Wimbledon champion laid bare her struggle to regain form in the aftermath of her hand injuries. Given how well the 28-year-old is playing-somehow she's been even more consistent since the comeback-she's going to be a serious force for the rest of 2019.

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"It's insane, I can't believe I just played a final of a Grand Slam again".

She thanked the fans and her own team, noting that behind every great player is a large group of people who don't get the same glory. She then squealed in agony as Kvitova broke her again to take the second set on a double fault.

Osaka had to serve out the match at 5-4 in the decider when it could all have been over almost an hour previously, but this time she did so to fifteen with total commitment.

When Kvitova sailed a backhand wide moments later, ceding a set for the first time all tournament, Osaka pumped her fist and screamed, "Come on!"

"Sorry, public speaking isn't really my strong side", she said.

They had never met before and Osaka initially struggled to unlock the lanky left-hander's serve, while Kvitova at times could not handle her opponent's powerful returns. "Told myself I'm playing a final and need to keep fighting and couldn't act immature and needed to keep fighting".

Osaka had nothing but nice things to say about Kvitova after the match. She has more than earned the right to be her slightly awkward and self-aware self. "I really fought back in the second set". She took the second, and the relief on her face was easy to see as coolness prevailed.

Now No. 1, Osaka wins majors to strains of Jay Rock's 'Win'