Japan’s Naomi Osaka defeated Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka in a captivating US Open final and is vying for her third Grand Slam title.
The 22-year-old fourth-placed Naomi Osaka won 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 for her second US Open title.
Naomi Osaka was crushed in the first set and was in danger of falling behind 3-0 in the second before recovering to win 10 of the next 11 games to take momentum.
Victoria Azarenka, 31, who played in her first grand final since 2013, lost a 5-3 serve in the decisive.
The Japanese screamed with joy as she took her second match point, then lay down calmly on the court and stared at the skies of New York as she considered her latest achievement.
Naomi Osaka’s level rose significantly as Victoria Azarenka failed to maintain the intensity she showed in the one-sided starting set.
The team ensures that Naomi Osaka, who won the US Open in 2018 and the Australian Open in 2019, kept her record for winning every Grand Slam final in which she played.
Her first victory at Flushing Meadows in 2018 came in straight sets against Serena Williams in a hostile environment after the scandalous dispute between the American and judge Carlos Ramos.
This second success could not be more different.
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This year, Naomi Osaka had to fight back against the inspired Victoria Azarenka – and move on a complex decision-making mechanism that could deviate from both ways – to a virtually empty Arthur Ash Stadium because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Naomi Osaka looked a bit lost, as Victoria Azarenka conquered her in a quick start, hitting 13 unforced errors and trying to cope with the active game and controlled aggression of the Belarusian.
Eventually, however, the mental resilience that the Japanese say she has developed in recent months has come to the fore.
This led to a big change in momentum in favor of Naomi Osaka, as Victoria Azarenka threatened 3-0 ahead in the second set.
The former world number one kept that level in the decisive to gain a 4-1 lead, but failed to convert one of the three break points to continue 5-1 ahead.
This could be costly when Victoria Azarenka immediately returned the set to serve, only for Naomi Osaka to fight back again, winning what turned out to be the last two games.