Australian Open: Naomi Osaka wins title, defeats Petra Kvitova in scintillating final

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"Sorry, public speaking isn't really my strong side. I just hope I can get through this". "And then she said, 'Oh, just sing, stupid'".

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has captured the Australian Open title and world number 1 spot by beating Petra Kvitova - in scenes that came in stark contrast to her maiden Grand Slam win over Serena Williams previous year. "If I didn't regroup after the second set, then I would have looked back on this match and probably cried". Her defensive efforts and movement stymied all of Kvitova's attempts to find rhythm in the decider. "Every time I have a dream, somehow I accomplish it, I still feel like it's a very odd moment".

"To my team, thank you for everything. I want her to win at Wimbledon!".

"I'm so proud", he said.

That was also the first set she had lost at Melbourne Park in the last two weeks.

"I wanted to win and have the trophy, but I think I already won two years ago", she said.

To everyone who just hummed the rest of the song, yes, that is from the Pokémon theme song. Several of Osaka's competitors and tennis legends congratulated her on social media following the match.

Osaka spoke of a tournament where she had found the ability to win on "will power alone", a quality regularly attributed to Williams throughout her career of 23 Grand Slam titles.

Saturday's final saw the best and worst of Osaka's game.

Osaka tried to describe what the tennis-watching audience sees as a unique poise and maturity that allows her to come back from game-point losses that would psychologically decimate other players, even veterans.

But Asia's new sporting superstar regained her cool to take the deciding set, the match, the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup and $4.1 million winner's cheque after two hours and 27 minutes.

Osaka took the first set in a hard-fought tiebreaker, eventually winning 7-6 (7-2).

Such power can be volatile over the course of three sets and she was brought to tears when broken serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set. She won her first Grand Slam, at Wimbledon, aged 21, and said Osaka would need to handle extra pressure.

Kvitova said the pain of losing was secondary to the pride she felt at being back on the biggest stage.

But the Czech showed nerves of steel to save all three and hold serve, much to the frustration of her 21-year-old opponent.

However, the Czech was simply outplayed in the tie-break, Osaka powering a return onto the line for a victor on the second point and not looking back. To the doubters that claimed Williams choked, rather than Osaka soared, Osaka can now present the undeniable evidence of her Australian Open final courage.

It was, make no mistake, a stunning collapse.

"Huge congrats to Petra, I've always wanted to play you". But Osaka calmed down. Li reached a career-high ranking of No.2, which was the previous record for an Asian player.

On top of that, Osaka will rise to No. 1 in the rankings. "I can't wait to see what the future holds for her", she added.

Grand Slam singles titles are the most precious of tennis possessions and not supposed to be captured easily. She started 2019 with a win at the Sydney International.

"I've been through many, many things, not really great ones".

Osaka was on fire and returning serve well with a poorly executed drop shot from the Czech giving her another break for 3-2 as the crowd rose to their feet.

The Japanese star left the court wiping away tears and the match appeared over - at least in her head.

Kvitova was also looking to become the oldest first-time women's world No 1, at 28 years and 326 days, and the ninth different women's grand slam singles champion in a row.