Beaten Australian Open finalist Kvitova believes she can win another slam

by Leon Thompson January 27, 2019, 0:46
Beaten Australian Open finalist Kvitova believes she can win another slam

Osaka had three championship points in the second set but Kvitova rallied when her game looked like it was about to collapse to win the second set. "I just hope I can get through this". And just think: At the start of 2018, the now-two-time major victor was ranked well outside of the top 50. But for me, I still feel very shocked.

Yet there was nothing to dampen Osaka's celebrations on this occasion, after she extended her winning streak at the highest level to 14 matches and became the first woman since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to follow up her first slam success by winning the next major.

"But for now, I'm more happy that I won this trophy".

New York Times tennis expert Ben Rothenberg suggested midway through the match the controversy Osaka had been forced to deal with at Flushing Meadows a year ago - when Williams exploded and accused the umpire of bias, ruining Osaka's biggest career achievement to date - had actually hardened her to withstand moments of adversity like she eventually overcame on Rod Laver Arena.

When Smith lost his serve in the second game of the second set, there was no coming back for the local pair.

"I read notes before this, but still I forgot the rest of what I am supposed to say, so just thank you, everyone", she added.

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As AAP writer Darren Walton put it, Osaka was "robbed of the spotlight by Williams after her extraordinary meltdown".

"It's hurting a lot today, I wanted to win and have the trophy", the 28-year-old said after the 7-6 (7/2), 5-7, 6-4 defeat. Having conceded it once in the first set, the 30-year-old sent a forehand into the net to drop it once more to fall behind 0-2 in the second. I can hardly believe that I just played in a Grand Slam final again. The first Grand Slam of 2019 sees world number one Novak Djokovic aiming for his third consecutive slam title, and seventh Australian Open.

Kvitova said it might take her some time to get over the disappointment, especially as she had chances to get back into the match, even in the third set. Her defensive efforts and movement stymied all of Kvitova's attempts to find rhythm in the decider. But Kvitova played terrifically there, while Osaka began to get jittery. As I said on the court, I didn't know if I going to hold the racquet again. Just over two years removed from the home invasion and knife attack that almost ended her career, Kvitova played fearlessly, and it paid off.

After winning the match against Petra Kvitova, Osaka was instantly overcome with emotion, crouching down on the court. "Of course I felt very disappointed and sad when I had three match points", she said.

Osaka broke early before securing her second Grand Slam title.

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