Naomi Osaka of Japan created history as she became the first ever Japanese to win a major singles title in tennis after she defeated Serena Williams in the US Open final in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.
The 20 year old Japanese had a dream run in the championship which led her to her first grand-slam final. But her opponent was the 23 times grand-slam winner and the most successful woman in tennis history, Serena Williams. And rightly Williams was the favourite to win the title. Naomi Osaka, on the other hand, had the time of her life. She had been dominant in all the matches leading to the final. The world no. 20 had lost only one set coming into the finals. That loss of set came against Aryna Sabalenka in the 4th round.
Both Williams and Osaka had easy semi final matches. Both the ladies won their respective matches without dropping a set. So everything led to a grand stand finish. A final between two people: one who has won almost everything one can dream of and another who has just set her foot in the world of tennis.
Osaka was determined not to let this opportunity slip. She was on the front foot from the very start of the match giving Serena no time to relax. And the perseverance paid off. The Japanese broke Williams twice in the first set to take the set 6-2. Not many times have the fans seen Williams on the back foot and this was not something many had expected of.
Williams tried to make a comeback in the second set. But Osaka was too tough for her to be broken. She saved five of the six break points and denied Williams a grip on the tie. And soon Osaka broke Williams’ service. Now the only thing left for her to do was to hold her nerves and get her service right. And the 20 year old Japanese obliged. She held her serve and took the second set 6-4, thus becoming the US Open champion in the process.
But there was a little bit of controversy involved in the match. Serena Williams received a first warning for coaching, a penalty point for smashing her racket after Osaka broke her back in the second set. Williams also received a penalty game for calling chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, ‘a thief’ in the eighth game of the second set.
Amidst all the chaos, the tennis fans saw the birth of a new champion. Not only winning the championships, but also the manner in which Osaka won it speaks volumes of her character and talent. And talking about Serena Williams, the American missed a golden chance to equal Margaret Court’s overall tally of 24 championships.
In Men’s tennis Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro faces Novak Djokovic in the finals. Del Potro has only one grand-slam to his name, the one he won here nine years back. Djokovic, erstwhile, has been in top form and all the tennis fans can expect a mouth-watering clash in the Arthur Ashe arena.
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