Naomi Osaka becomes World No 1 after clinching Australian Open title

Osaka edges Kvitova for Australian Open title No. 1 ranking

At 21 years and three months, Osaka is also the youngest Australian Open champion in 11 years - Maria Sharapova was 20 years and nine months old when she won the title in 2008.

None of us saw that outcome when Osaka held three championship points at 5-3 in the second set.

Still, Osaka had a chance to serve for the match, but she passed that up too, double faulting to hand Kvitova two break points and she duly obliged.

Ending Kvitova's run of five straight games was crucial and, when Osaka powered a backhand full of anger and frustration past Kvitova to break for 2-1, the power had shifted once more.

Osaka claimed her first Grand Slam by beating American 23-time champion Serena Williams in a dramatic final in NY last September, backing that up immediately with more success in Melbourne.

Osaka is also following in Williams' footsteps, becoming the first woman to win back-to-back majors since the 37-year-old tennis star won the U.S. Open in 2014 and the 2015 Australian Open, Sporting News reported.

"But mostly thank you (to my team) for sticking with me even (if) we didn't know if I would be able to hold this racket again".

"It's insane. I can hardly believe that I just played in a Grand Slam final again".

The Czech had won her last eight finals and more than played her part in a generally high-quality encounter but in the end had no answer. "You've been through so much, honestly I wouldn't have wanted this to be our first match", Osaka said.

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"I read notes before this but I still forgot the rest of what I was supposed to say", Osaka said with a laugh.

"I felt like I didn't want to have any regrets", said Osaka. A service break put Osaka ahead 2-1 in the third and there would not be another lapse. Like in the third set of my match today, I literally just tried to turn off all my feelings. I know all the sacrifices that every player does to stay at this level.

Osaka has in the past discussed Netflix, memes and computer game Overwatch in news conferences and after winning her first Masters title at Indian Wells a year ago made what she described as "the worst acceptance speech of all time".

As Osaka talks about playing tennis, it seems she experiences something similar, except instead of "just sing, stupid", it's "just play, stupid".

Her last major title success came in September when she conquered 2018 US Open.

For Kvitova, the loss will sting, but she must be proud to have returned to a Grand Slam final regardless of the result.

Naomi Osaka was not surprised by her rise to the top of the WTA rankings, while she gave an insight into how she became an on-court "robot" in order to down Petra Kvitova.

"For me, I feel like it hasn't really sunk in". Like right after, the day after, I really didn't want to think about it because it wasn't necessarily the happiest memory for me.

But Osaka dominated the tiebreaker, earning another four set points when Kvitova netted a backhand and converting the first of those on another error from the Czech player.

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