Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Osaka wins US Open title beating Serena

09 Sep 2018, 02:34 ( 7 Months ago) | updated: 09 Sep 2018, 11:35 ( 7 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Naomi Osaka of Japan. File Photo Xinhua.

Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese to win a Grand Slam singles title in the history of the sport on Saturday as she shocked former world No. 1 Serena Williams of the United States 6-2, 6-4 in the final to win the 2018 US Open.

   Playing her first Grand Slam final, the 20-year-old and No. 20 seed needed just 74 minutes to beat idol Serena for the second time in 2018, having also won in first round of the Miami Open in March.

   "I think maybe in a few days I'll realize what I've done," said Osaka, who played beautiful tennis, a combination of power and poise. "I felt like I shouldn't let myself be overcome by nerves or anything, and I should just really focus on playing tennis because that's what's gotten me to this point."

   Her win inside Arthur Ashe Stadium denied Williams a 24th Grand Slam women's singles title, which would have tied the all-time record held by tennis legend Margaret Court from Australia.

   After Osaka took the first set 6-2, the match, however, turned into Williams' drama show when chair umpire Carlos Ramos warned her for receiving coaching in the second game of the second set.

   Williams was laso handed a point penalty in the sixth game after breaking a racquet, which was her second code violation.

   Williams continued to argue with Ramos and even yelled at the umpire from Portugal. "You owe me an apology," Williams said. "I have never cheated in my life!"

   "You're attacking my character," she said. "You will never, ever be on another court of mine. You are the liar!"

   Ramos finally handed Williams a game penalty that put Osaka one game from victory at 5-3 in the second set.

   Although Williams won the next game, Osaka stayed focused to hold serve for the historic victory.

   "I don't know how I'm feeling yet," Williams said in her press conference after the match. "Haven't had time to really process everything. But I'm just trying to stay positive and to look at all the bright things and all the good things and just keep going forward with that."

   In all, Osaka struck 15 winners to 14 unforced errors and converted an impressive four of five break point opportunities.  

   The win will take her to a new career-high ranking and a Top 10 debut, the first Japanese woman to crack that threshold since Ai Sugiyama in 2004.

   "I'm going to Tokyo next, so hopefully to win the tournament there," Osaka said. "I'm just going to take it one step at a time. I'm not going to really think too far ahead."

   Asked about her impression about the Japanese star, Williams said: "I feel like she was really consistent. She made a lot of shots. She was so focused. Whenever I had a break point, she came up with some great serve. Honestly, there is a lot I can learn from her game."