Naomi Osaka has become the first Japanese tennis player to attain the world number one rank after clinching the Australian Open title on Saturday.
The 21-year-old defeated Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-4 in the most dramatic big-hitting final, claiming her second straight Grand Slam after the bittersweet experience of winning the US Open title last year amid controversial circumstances.
Osaka missed three consecutive match points in the second set, but she regained her rhythm and went onto seal the match to enjoy a truly joyous moment.
"Huge congrats to Petra. I have always wanted to play you. You have been through so much honestly I would not have wanted this to be our first match," Osaka said.
She has also become the first player to win two consecutive Grand Slam trophies since American player Serena Williams in 2015 and the first player to back up her maiden major title since the United States’ Jennifer Capriati clinched the Australian and French Open in 2001.