Naomi Osaka is the new queen of tennis.
She beat Petra Kvitova to win the Australian Open this morning in a thrilling comeback and now has become the first Asian woman or man to be ranked number 1 in professional tennis, reports The Telegraph.
The 21-year-old Japanese Haitian from Japan immigrated to the United States at the age of three.
Kvitova overcame three match points in the second set to win four games in a row and win the set. In the end, Osaka persevered, winning the championship 7-6, 5-7, 6-4.
It was just a four months ago when Osaka won the U.S. Open, beating Serena Williams to boos from a crowd that was upset about controversial calls from an umpire.
This time there was no such controversy. Just as in the U.S. Open, Osaka was gracious in victory.
“Sorry, public speaking isn’t really my strong side. I just hope I can get through this… Huge congrats to Petra, I always wanted to play you. You’ve been through so much and I honestly wouldn’t want this to be our first match,” Osaka said in her remarks to the crowd after the match.
“You’re really amazing and I’m so honored to have played you.
“To my team, I don’t think I would have made it through this week behind you guys. Behind a tennis player is always a team so I’m really grateful.
“I read notes before this but I’ve still forgotten what I’m supposed to say. I’m really honored to play in this final so thank you.”
“Women’s tennis is very open. You really never know who going to be there. But definitely she’s playing great game,” Kvitova said to ESPN. “She’s really big player, as she showed in the results, winning the US Open and Australian Open, it’s an amazing achievement.”
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