Naomi Osaka extended her Grand Slam-winning run to 14 matches on Saturday as she followed her US Open triumph by overcoming Petra Kvitova to win the Australian title.
The Japanese player also became the new World No.1 as a result, taking the place of Simona Halep. Her success captured the imagination of fans and media around the world. Here's how tennis writers saw Osaka's success:
"Osaka, the first woman since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to win her first two major titles back to back, does not appear to be going anywhere but forward. When Osaka defeated Williams in the U.S. Open final in September, she was the eighth different woman since the 2017 Australian Open to win a Grand Slam title. By consolidating her victory in New York with her performance in Melbourne, Osaka demonstrated that she has staying power." Karen Crouse, New York Times
"In a rousing, rollicking finale, Osaka had three match points in a row in the second set, but lost them all, or rather, had them wrested away by the ever-brave Kvitova, who charged on to win the set. Somehow, Osaka rallied from what for another might have been a terminal stumble to win the third set and the championship." Greg Baum, Sydney Morning Herald
"Amidst the chaos surrounding Serena Williams’ run-in with the umpire in last year’s US Open final it had been easy to forget that Osaka had become Japan’s first Grand Slam singles champion. After beating Petra Kvitova 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 in the final here, however, nobody could question Osaka’s status as the best female player on the planet." Paul Newman, The Independent
Wouldn’t have been able to do it without everyone. Love you guys ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/qxdbctduUe
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@Naomi_Osaka_) January 27, 2019
🏆 The morning after the night before. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/7fw94roiFp
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2019
"This final was not an epic, but it was immensely absorbing. Yet Osaka winning two majors in a row to climb to No. 1 is a crucial development for women’s tennis. There were eight different champions at the “Big Four” tournaments over the course of the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Osaka backing up her US Open victory is just what the game needed. New champions always capture the imagination of the public, but now Osaka’s continuity at the majors will make women’s tennis as appealing as it has been for a very long time. She is not ready to dominate the game, but Naomi Osaka will be adding regularly over the next five years to her collection of major titles, and fighting with fervor to remain happily alone at the top of her profession." Steve Flink, tennis.com
"On that hot September night, Osaka disappeared into her own trophy celebration as a chorus of boos drowned out any cheers directed her way. What was meant to be an event honoring Osaka instead became a protest about the way in which Williams had lost. Saturday night in Melbourne, Osaka's pink visor remained lifted, and the cheers were thunderous. Osaka was too busy hoisting the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup to be concerned with wiping away tears." Alyssa Roenigk, ESPN
Having waited 10 Grand Slams for her first success, Osaka now has two in as many tournaments. Her Australian coronation came on her fourth appearance in Melbourne, having never previously made the last eight at the venue. Her success continued to bring praise from all over the tennis world.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) January 27, 2019
— Andrea Hlavackova (@AndreaHlavackov) January 27, 2019
— Evert Tennis Academy (@EvertTennis) January 26, 2019
What a thrilling @AustralianOpen Final last night! @Petra_Kvitova showed an amazing fighting spirit and what outstanding mental toughness by @Naomi_Osaka_ 🙌🏼.
Congrats to both amazing champions and to Naomi for becoming a new number one!
— Ana Ivanovic (@AnaIvanovic) January 27, 2019
Congratulations @Naomi_Osaka_ for becoming world num 1 and for winning 2 GS in 5 months 😱👏👏👏👏👏 and @Petra_Kvitova for making an incredible comeback 🙌🙌🙌👏👏 #admiration #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/Aiuoaw9FFi
— Gabriela Sabatini (@sabatinigabyok) January 26, 2019
Congrats @Naomi_Osaka_ on your 2nd Major title & World #1. Not many could predict such a quick rise from #72 this time last year. Tempered power, consistency, movement,shot selection, more spin, resilient mentally-all huge improvements! @BigSascha 👏🏆🏆⭐️#️⃣1️⃣‼️
— Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) January 26, 2019
— Kirsten Flipkens (@FlipperKF) January 26, 2019
— Bianca V. Andreescu (@Bandreescu_) January 26, 2019
— Lesia Tsurenko (@LTsurenko) January 26, 2019
— Timea Bacsinszky (@TimeaOfficial) January 26, 2019