Naomi Osaka showed great resolve to battle back from a set down and beat Victoria Azarenka 1-6 6-3 6-3 to win her second US Open title and third Grand Slam.
The fourth seed has now won the US Open title twice in three years after her 2018 triumph despite having won only one game in the opening set with Azarenka, playing in her first major final in seven years, looking dominant.
The 22-year-old Japanese star, however, showed belief and character to recover from losing the first set, and battled through the decider to triumph in New York once again.
Watch the final highlights between Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka below
Azarenka started incredibly with intensity at the start of the match and stormed through the opening set in breathtaking fashion. But she could not quite sustain that level as the momentum of the match shifted when Osaka found her groove.
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Osaka had to break twice in order to come through the deciding set, and the Japanese star fell to the ground in disbelief and joy as she clinched victory on the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The US Open 2020 Women’s final was the first time since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1994 that a player had lost the opening set and battled back to victory.
The setting could not have been more different to her first US Open crown in the stadium two years ago when she beat the home favourite, Serena Williams, in dramatic fashion.
“I actually don’t want to play you in more finals,” Osaka told Azarenka with a smile during the victory ceremony.
“I didn’t really enjoy that. That was a really tough match for me.
“And yes, really inspiring for me because I used to watch you you play here when I was yiunger. So, just to have the opportunity to play you is really great and I learnt a lot.”
Azarenka has also made an incredible comeback to tennis after she left the circuit to give birth to her son, Leo.
The 31-year-old hasshown that she belongs back on the big stage after her two Australian Open wins earlier in her career.
“I want to thank my team for sticking with me and believing in me,” Azarenka says.
“It has been a long road of getting here, but this was fun, so I hope to see you guys again soon.”
This marks Osaka’s third Grand Slam title, cementing her status as the new star of women’s tennis as she adds another £2.3million in prize money to her fortune while she becomes the first Asian player to win three major titles, surpassing Chinese trailblazer Li Na.
She is already the highest-earning female athlete in the world.
She has also been a vocal advocate for Black Lives Matter, wearing facemasks during this tournament bearing the names of black victims of brutality and violence.
Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy killed by a policeman while playing with a toy gun in 2014, was the name she kept for the final.
Asked at the presentation ceremony what message she had hoped to send, Osaka replied sharply: “Well what was the message that you got? I feel like the point is to make people start talking.”
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