Published: Sun, January 27, 2019
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Plaudits flow with Osaka 'beyond excited' to be No 1

Plaudits flow with Osaka 'beyond excited' to be No 1

Osaka seemed rocked by wasting her chances and she briefly left the court in an emotional state.

What should have been over in 92 minutes went two hours and 27 minutes, but she got there in the end. 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. Well done, Naomi. To your team as well, you really played well and congrats for being No.1 as well.

Osaka became the first woman since Jennifer Capriati to win both of her first two Grand Slam finals.

That was also the first set she had lost at Melbourne Park in the last two weeks.

That ugly encounter had left Osaka crying during the acceptance speeches, when fans were booing Carlos Ramos, who had been called a "liar" and a "thief" by Williams.

She then showed her class when she preferred to praise Kvitova rather than bask in the glow of her win.

Osaka has in the past discussed Netflix, memes and computer game Overwatch in news conferences and after winning her first Masters title at Indian Wells a year ago made what she described as "the worst acceptance speech of all time". But mostly, thank you for sticking with me even when we didn't know if I would able to hold a racquet again. "I can't really act entitled".

Kvitova was also looking to become the oldest first-time women's world No 1, at 28 years and 326 days, and the ninth different women's grand slam singles champion in a row. "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".

It was also a performance from which Kvitova can draw enormous pride, considering her career nearly ended when she was the victim of a vicious home invasion in late 2016.

Osaka, naturally, was thrilled by her new status as the WTA's best in the world.

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.

Osaka had struggled to read Kvitova's serve early on, but soon gained the upper hand and looked to be winning a battle of the forehands as she forged ahead.

Channel 9 host Tony Jones has come under heavy fire for several cringeworthy comments during an awkward interview with newly crowned Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka. "I want her to win the next Grand Slam as she is very mentally strong". Slammed a ball. Tugged at her visor's pink brim.

"Kvitova has already passed the biggest character test. coming back from what she suffered from - a home invasion, the near loss of her professional career".

She regained her cool and came out firing in the third, backing herself and clipping a clean backhand victor after another Kvitova double fault brought up break point in the third game.

Osaka then brought up three championship points off Kvitova´s serve but the Czech saved all of them, forcing Osaka to serve for the title.

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