Naomi Osaka Wins Australian Open, Defeating Two-Time Wimbledon Champion


(Photo By: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Safa Hameed

On January 26, Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open, a major tennis competition, after bouncing back in the third set against equally skilled partner Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion.

She beat Kvitova 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 in sets. Osaka won the first set in a close tie-breaker. However, Kvitova regained strength and won the second set, which cost Osaka a total of three championship points. This meant that they needed to play a third set to decide the winner. Osaka was disheartened about losing that after the second set, she took a break. She walked to the locker room with a towel over her head, which she later admitted was for blocking her tears. Even her coach, Sascha Bajin, knew that she would be better once she regrouped, stating that, “I knew that Petra couldn’t keep it up for that long if Naomi could just manage those emotions…and she did that beautifully.”

However, Osaka delivered beautifully in the third set, resulting in her second consecutive Grand-Slam title, after her win in the U.S open in August of 2018. In an interview with Channel Nine, she opened up about how she felt saying, “In the third set, I literally just tried to turn off all my feelings. I just felt kind of hollow, like I was a robot. I was just executing my orders. I didn’t waste any energy reacting too much. But then when it got towards the end, then I started realising how big the situation was, and I started yelling, ‘C’mon’ again.”

This win marks a turning point for Osaka, who was named number one in women’s tennis, after rankings came out a few days later. Osaka, being half Japanese, is also the first ever Asian player to reach number one in tennis rankings. With the Australian Open already in the bag, all Osaka needs to complete her first grand slam title is major wins in the the French Open followed by Wimbledon, in spring and summer of this year.

Osaka walks off court after losing the second set.
(Photo By: AP: Aaron Favila)