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N. Osaka (JPN)
P. Kvitova (CZE)
|N. Osaka (JPN) (4)||7(7)||5||6|
|P. Kvitova (CZE) ||6(2)||7||4|
|Set won by N. Osaka||6 - 4||N. Osaka leads 2 to 1|
|Set won by P. Kvitova||5 - 7||P. Kvitova has tied the match at 1 set all|
|Set won by N. Osaka||7(7) - 6(2)||N. Osaka leads 1 to 0|
There were twists and turns along the way, but Naomi Osaka secured her first Australian Open title on Saturday night in three tightly-contested sets.
Naomi Osaka 7(7) 5 6
Petra Kvitova 6(2) 7 4
Naomi Osaka will be gunning for her second straight grand slam title and first Australian Open crown when she takes on good news story Petra Kvitova in the women’s singles final. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:30pm (AEDT).
Not only is a grand slam title and more than $4 million dollars in prize money on the line for this match, but the winner will also become the new world No.1, so there is a mountain riding on it.
Osaka is backing up her victory at last year’s season-ending grand slam, however, it’s been some time since a woman won more than one grand slam on the hop, so a victory here would break a trend.
On the other side of the net in this final is the good news story of Kvitova, who, barely two years ago, wasn’t sure if she would ever step on the tennis court again.
However, she overcame serious injuries and is now back in a grand slam final, after, at one point, looking like she would be the next world beater.
With two grand slams to her name, it’s a career which has been set back and could have been one of the greats, but to be back in a grand slam final clearly made her emotional the other night, and given what she has been through, it’s hardly a surprise.
Her power game has suited her throughout the tournament, and while Kvitova’s draw was relatively straightforward until the quarter-final, she smoked past Ashleigh Barty in that fifth match, then stopped Danielle Collins in her track during the semi-final, winning the second set 6-0.
She won’t have things all her own way against Osaka though, who has an incredible baseline game, a strong serve and a good judgement surrounding when to go on the attack.
The difference between Osaka and many other players on the WTA tour though is her ability in returning serve and defending – something she got right consistently in dismantling Karolina Pliskova during the semi-final.
If she can keep up that level, the power game of Kvitova may well be nullified.
Intriguingly, this is the first meeting between the pair.
This is a tough match to tip, and it’s likely to ebb and flow, back and forth, with a winner not certain until the very end. Osaka is the form player on the WTA tour though, and Kvitova wasn’t quite as on her game during the first set of the semi-final. I expect Japan’s superstar to take the win and new World No.1 rank.
Osaka in three sets.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2019 Australian Open women’s singles final from 7:30pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Start time: 7:30pm (AEDT)
Venue: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park
TV: Live, Channel 9
Online: Live, 9Now
Betting: Osaka $1.70, Kvitova $2.20
Overall record: Never played