Naomi Osaka has won the Australian Open and is the new world number one, after beating Czech Petra Kvitova 7-6 (2) 5-7 6-4 in a dramatic final.
Just last September, Osaka was reduced to tears when the crowd booed her after a controversial US Open final in which Serena Williams lost her cool. The hard-fought victory made Osaka the first Asian, male or female, to hold the world’s top ranking, taking over from Romania’s Simona Halep.
The Japanese youngster fell to one knee in celebration, head bowed, as Melbourne Park erupted in thunderous cheers. “I felt like I was in a state of shock through the entire trophy presentation,” the 21-year-old said.
She is the first woman to follow her first grand slam title by immediately winning the next one since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 and the first since Serena in 2015 to win two slams in a row.