Naomi Osaka overcame a bout of nerves and dropped three Championship Points but that did not stop her from defeating Petra Kvitova in the final to win the 2019 Australian Open title.
Osaka won 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 to become the first woman after Serena Williams to win back to back Grand Slam titles. Incidentally, the Japanese player had defeated Serena in the final of the previous Grand Slam, the US Open as well to win that title.
With that win, Osaka also became the new women’s world number one.
She had three match points in the second set but missed them all before frittering away a fourth in the third set. However, serving at 40-15 at 5-4, she clinched the win off her fifth, needing two hours and 27 minutes at the Rod Laver Arena for it.
Kvitova had come into the final on the back of a title win in Sydney before the Australian Open before winning six matches in this tournament, making it 11 wins in a row. However, she failed to deliver the goods in a close final that saw Osaka hold her nerves despite a string of issues in the second set.
Serving at 3-5 in the second set, Kvitova was down 0-40 but the Czech ensured she overcame all those match points, and then went on to win four games in a row to level the match at a set apiece.
However, Osaka quickly overcame all those issues and ensure the title was hers.