Japan’s Naomi Osaka has won the Australian Open for her second consecutive Grand Slam title by beating Petra Kvitova 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-4 in the final.
The 21-year-old Osaka also becomes the first tennis player from Japan to reach number one in the rankings.
Osaka held three match points at 5-3 in the second set but couldn’t close it out. She allowed Kvitova to come back and win 23 of 27 points to take that set and go up 1-0 in the third.
But Osaka regained her composure and her big-shot ability down the stretch, breaking to lead 2-1 with a cross-court backhand winner and holding on the rest of the way.
Osaka added this trophy to the one she collected by beating Serena Williams in achaotic US Open finallast September.
Osaka is the first woman to win two major championships in a row since Williams picked up four straight in 2014-15.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe congratulated the 21-year-old.
“The thrill of a hard-fought victory! Congratulations on winning the Australian Open, Naomi Osaka,” Abe wrote on his official Twitter page.
“I am very proud of the emergence of a new queen. I look forward to your continued accomplishments.”
AP news agency
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