Naomi Osaka once again a champion with her second US Open title in three years and third major championship of her career after a great comeback victory against Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in three sets, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Azarenka’s dominance in the first set for 26 minutes cannot be ignored, causing a nightmare for Osaka and almost a point away from falling a 3-0 hole in the second set. Azarenka’s serve in the first set had a 94% landing and seizing her attacks for her backhand down the line found the target empty space to give her the lead.
But Osaka managed to pull off adjusting herself to make the comeback. take a look at Serena Williams reaches US Open semifinals news at here!
“I thought it would be very embarrassing to lose in under an hour,” she said of what inspired her comeback after the match. “So I just had to try as hard as I can, and stop having a bad attitude.”
After breaking Azarenka to seize the second set, Osaka appeared to be the one leading the game when she broke Azarenka with a rock-solid backhand for a 3-1 lead in the third set.
Azarenka had three chances to break back at 0-40 in the next game, but Osaka fought back to deuce and had her biggest hold of the match when Azarenka hit a forehand long.
One game later, in a 1-4 hole, Azarenka demonstrated world-class survival skills, fending off four break points before holding with an ace for 4-2, and followed that up with an epic break to get back on serve, smacking two forehand winners on the line to get to deuce.
When Osaka steered a backhand wide moments later, Azarenka had closed it to 4-3. After all of that work, Azarenka had to control herself from a massive sense of letdown when Osaka broke her for 5-3, before serving it out and win the US Open title.
After her comeback victory, she is expected to rise to No. 3 in the rankings and is currently tied for third among active players for most major titles.
More importantly, Osaka accomplished what she had set out to do in the first place. She set aside seven masks before the tournament, each bearing the name of a person killed due to racial injustice or police brutality, and was able to wear each one. It was her mission to give a voice to the voiceless, and it helped motivate her until the final moments.
“I wanted more people to say more names,” Osaka said following the victory.
Due to her intent, it helped Osaka out after almost two hours of intense battle against Azarenka, and she was crowned the champion and became the first woman since Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario in 1994 to win the US Open after dropping the first set.
Wearing a number 8 Kobe Bryant Lakers jersey to her news conference hours after her win, Osaka said it was the late NBA legend who always believed in her how great she could become, as an athlete and beyond.
She tweeted that she wore the jersey every day after her matches to give her strength. Bryant, known for his fierce competitiveness and tireless work ethic, was a mentor for Osaka before his death in January, and even attended one of her matches at the 2019 US Open. Osaka sounded determined to fulfill his vision.
“I feel like at this point there are certain things that I do that I hope can make him proud,” she said. “It’s like keeping his legacy alive for me. I think it’s amazing how one person can inspire so many people. Everyone has a really great story about him just being kind, spreading warmth.
“For me, I just want to be the type of person that he thought I was going to be. He thought I was going to be great, so hopefully I will be great in the future. Only time will tell.”