Naomi Osaka gets emotional as she wins Australian Open & becomes first Asian No. 1 player
Naomi Osaka stunned fans when she got emotional after she won the Australian Open. She also became the first Asian number one player through her win.
After a losing second set, the 21-year-old tennis star came back strong and won her first-ever Australian open. The win made history.
The amazing tennis star had picked up her first major title at the 2018 U.S. Open. She beat out the living-legend Serena Williams to win the title.
The Japanese-born Osaka was ranked No. 5 in the world. With her new win, she will become the first Asian player of any gender to become number 1.
After winning the match that made history, Osaka was overcome with emotion. She crouched down on the court and tears filled her eyes as she got up to shake hands with her opponent before she crouched down to the floor off the court with her face in her hands.
During Saturday’s championship, Osaka beat Kvitova, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4. After the game, the champion addressed the crowd with a speech. She started it with an apology to the public.
“Sorry, public speaking isn’t really my strong side. I just hope I can get through this,” she humbly shared, before warmly thanking Kvitova, “Huge congrats to you, Petra. You’re really amazing and I’m so honored to have played you. To my team, I don’t think I would have made it through this week behind you guys. Behind a tennis player is always a team so I’m really grateful,” she continued, before concluding her speech by admitting she had forgotten a bit of what she was “supposed to say.”
“I read notes before this but I still forgot the rest of what I was supposed to say,” Osaka said with a laugh. “So just thank you everyone and I’m really honored to have played in this final.”
Additionally, Osaka’s win made her the youngest top-seated player since Caroline Wozniacki. Caroline held the No. 1 spot in 2010 at the age of 20.
Osaka is following in Williams’ footsteps becoming the first woman to win back-to-back majors like the 37-year-old tennis star had done when she won the U.S. Open in 2014 and the 2015 Australian Open. Williams also went on to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year.
Osaka’s superstar status was solidified when she beat Williams in the U.S. Open women’s singles finals in September. After the match, Williams’ had a massive disagreement with chair umpire Carlos Ramos and was later issued three violations, including one for breaking her racket.
Osaka revealed to PEOPLE in an interview that she wasn’t nervous playing Williams “because I played her once before. The reason why I would be nervous was that I’ve never played finals before. Otherwise, when I stepped onto the court I felt completely fine. When I play, I feel like a different person so I felt pretty comfortable.” She then added, “I felt like so much went on. I feel like I’ve never won a Grand Slam so everything feels really new. I’ve been surrounded by my mom and my dad this entire time and we’ve been celebrating.”