Wozniacki Wins First 2016 Title In Tokyo, Knocks Out Japanese Teen Osaka
Published September 25, 2016 12:15
"It's the last match of the tournament, and I just wanted to go out and enjoy it," Wozniacki said in her on-court interview. "It's the final and both of us had great weeks. We both wanted to go out there and play well."
Osaka was playing in the biggest final of her career, but acquitted herself well in the early stages of the match, twice leading the former No.1 by a break of serve.
"She's going to be a great player, already rising in the rankings so fast. I've no doubt we'll see her in many, many more finals."
Wozniacki, by contrast, was playing in her second Tokyo final in the last three years and had a wealth of experience on which to draw, despite dealing with a tough season full of injuries and inconsistencies.
"I'm enjoying it at the moment. Injuries happen and you never know when you can be taken out of the game, so I'm just enjoying every minute."
Despite needing a medical timeout after the seventh game, the former No.1 managed to pull off a stunning comeback, winning nine of the next 10 games to lead Osaka by a set and 5-0. The teenager and hometown favorite was struck with an injury concern of her own after the opening set, but nonetheless treated the crowd to a tense ending, nearly pulling level before Wozniacki served out the win.
A high-quality contest, Wozniacki and Osaka hit nearly 30 winners each (25 to 28), but it was the Dane's trademark consistency that won the day, with just 16 unforced errors to Osaka's 32. Clutch on the crucial points, she converted five of six break point opportunities and won an impressive 11 of 12 forays to the net.