Joy for Osaka as she digs deep to see off Kvitova challenge in Australian Open final

Joy for Osaka as she digs deep to see off Kvitova challenge in Australian Open final
Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka has won the Australian Open women's singles title by beating Petra Kvitova 7-6 (2) 5-7 6-4 in the final in Melbourne.

Osaka drew first blood in the Australian Open final by taking the opening set against Petra Kvitova.

The 21-year-old, who has now won back-to-back Grand Slam titles following her success in New York, saw two set points come and go in the 12th game of a high-quality contest but came through on a tie-break.

Osaka surged into a 5-1 lead and did not look back, going on to take it 7-2.

After losing the second set, Osake had to dig deep to see out the win.

Kvitova made it five games in a row to start the decider but crucially Osaka dug in to hold serve in the next game and suddenly she was back on top.

A backhand that seemed full of all the anger and frustration Osaka was feeling flew past Kvitova to give the fourth seed the break for 2-1 and this time she did not fold.

The reminders were everywhere, particularly when Kvitova recovered from 0-40 at 2-4 with some huge serving, but Osaka kept her composure.

And when she stepped up to serve for the match for the second time, she buried her demons, taking her fifth match point for a 7-6 (2) 5-7 6-4 victory.

Osaka's win moves her up to number one in the world rankings.

- Press Association & Digital Desk

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