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Naomi Osaka beats Petra Kvitova to win Australian Open

Naomi Osaka beats Petra Kvitova to win Australian Open

Naomi Osaka has won the first set 7-6 (2) in her Australian Open final against Petra Kvitova and is potentially one set from winning back-to-back major titles.

Osaka's win means she is now the World No. 1 player - the first Asian player (man or woman) to ever reach the rankings summit.

In the second set, she was up 5-3 and love-40 with triple-championship point on Kvitova's serve.

Kvitova saved two set points to force a tie-break but Osaka ran away with it 7-2, taking the first set the Czech had conceded in the entire tournament.

She regained her cool and clipped a clean backhand victor to take a break point in the third game of the decider and was up to the task when Kvitova forced her to serve for the match.

It was a marked contrast to her maiden Slam win past year when Osaka cried as boos rang around Flushing Meadows following losing finalist Serena Williams' tirade at the umpire.

The last person to win her first two Grand Slams back-to-back was Jennifer Capriati in 2001. As I said on the court, I didn't know if I'm going to hold the racket again.

"I can not believe I just played the final of a grand slam again", said Kvitova, just 25 months since doctors feared she'd never play again after being stabbed and having her left playing hand - which she described as her "greatest gift" - shredded in a violent attack in her own home.

"She can win much, much more!"

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"Hello!" she said, drawing a laugh from the crowd. "Behind a tennis player is always a team so I'm really grateful", she continued, before concluding her speech by admitting she had forgotten a bit of what she was "supposed to say".

The fourth seed and US Open champion made it two Grand Slam titles in a row after a see-sawing 2hr 27min match.

"I knew that Petra couldn't keep it up for that long if Naomi could just manage those emotions", said Osaka's coach, Sascha Bajin, "and she did that beautifully". Now, after two years of burgeoning stars and bewildering upsets, the sport has a woman ready to lead from the top. "I don't think that I could really imagine the time to be kind of this player again".

Kvitova had won her past 22 Grand Slam matches after winning the first set.

And to think, a year ago, Osaka was ranked 72nd.

"Huge congrats to you and your team and you are really awesome and I am really honoured to have played you in the final of a Grand Slam".

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

"It's insane. I can hardly believe that I just played in a Grand Slam (final) again", she said after making a slam final for the first time since 2015.

Soon after her Melbourne Park win, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tweeted: "I'm so proud of the birth of the new world queen". But Kvitova played terrifically there, while Osaka began to get jittery. Turned out, that wasn't the case. "And, yeah, the third set was just one break".

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