Just a year ago, the 21-year-old was world No. 72. Today she has gone on to win back-to-back Grand Slams to become the new WTA World No.1.
Haitian and Japanese tennis star, Naomi Osaka just added another notch to her young belt after beating Petra Kvitova to win the 2019 Australian Open. This was not only Osaka’s 2nd Gram Slam Title but her second consecutive. Osaka added the Australian Open trophy to the one she won against Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final last September. Osaka is the first woman to secure two consecutive championships since Williams landed four back-to-back in 2014-2015.
According to WTA, by lifting her second career Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, Osaka is set to become the first Haitian and First Japanese player – man or woman – to achieve this historic milestone since computer rankings were introduced in 1975, and the 26th woman overall to hold the No.1 ranking.
“I’m beyond excited to become the new WTA World No.1,” said Osaka. “I’ve always dreamt of being in this position and I am honored to be part of the elite group of players who have reached the No.1 ranking.”
After a very tough start in this very historic match, Osaka turned it all around and dropped 23 of 27 points. Refocusing and reasserting herself, Osaka edged Petra Kvitova 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-4 on Saturday night to win the Australian Open.
“I felt like I didn’t want to have any regrets,” Osaka said. “I think if I didn’t regroup after the second set, then I would have looked back on this match and probably cried or something.”
At 21, Osaka is the youngest No. 1 in nearly a decade; Caroline Wozniacki was 20 when she first ascended to that spot in 2010. And to think, a year ago, Osaka was ranked 72nd. What an amazing climb for the young and very humble star.
“Amazing achievement,” two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova said. “Definitely she is a great one. We’ll see what the future will bring.”
Kvitova was playing in her first Grand Slam final since winning Wimbledon in 2014 and the first since she was stabbed in the hand by an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic a little more than two years ago.
“You’ve been through so much,” Osaka told Kvitova during the trophy ceremony. “I’m really honored to have played you in the final of a Grand Slam.”
The last four years, we’ve had the pleasure of covering the rise of the young tennis star, we are beyond proud to see how far she’s come in just a short time. Congratulations Naomi.