Osaka Claims a Hassle-Free Aussie Open Championship
So this is the real Slam title experience.
It's been a whirlwind year for Naomi Osaka.
- 12 months ago, she was the WTA's 72nd-ranked player;
- She then knocked off Serena Williams in one of the more bizarre US Open finals of all time; and now,
- She's the first female since Serena in 2015 to win back-to-back Slams.
Damn. It's starting to look like dudette's got a strange way of celebrating victories.
Still, that was probably more a sign of relief after a taxing afternoon.
It was an accomplishment for the 28-year-old Czech to be back in a Slam final, too.
Since winning her second Wimbledon title in 2014, Kvitová was the victim of a random and brutal knife attack in 2016 that left anybody who saw the not-safe-for-the-squeamish aftermath thinking her tennis career was shredded, too.
Defending herself in that incident was probably the most amazing thing she's ever done, but her comeback to make a Slam final is a close second.
And so is Osaka.
She's confirmed that her US Open triumph was more a result of her skills than an opponent's meltdown.
What's more, Osaka's the youngest player to earn the top rank since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010. The Dane did it at 20; Osaka's 21.
The Japanese prodigy recorded nine aces in the final on her way to becoming first woman since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to win earn first two Grand Slams titles in back-to-back fashion.
Her prospects of a third straight Slam title rest in the mysteries of clay, which she has yet to master. That may be negated by the tenacity she's showed in big matches, though.
Well, if the clay in Paris is baking on a warm day, that could be useful.