World number 8 Naomi Osaka rallied to beat unseeded Victoria Azarenka 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 and lift the US Open 2020 title of the women’s singles competition on Saturday.
It was Osama’s third Grand Slam title in as many final. She had won the US Open in 2018 and following it up with the Australian Open 2019.
“In the end all I focus on is what I can control on the tennis court. That’s what I did in 2018 final. I feel like that’s what I did this time,” said the 22-year-old Japanese according to Xinhua news agency. Osaka had previously beaten defeated Serena Williams to win the 2018 title.
Belarus’ Azarenka, 31, who had stormed into the final after beating 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, won the opening set without any challenge from her Japanes counterpart.
However, the second set was a different ball game altogether as Osaka fought back to break her opponent’s serve twice and took a 4-3 lead after Azarenka had taken a 2-0 lead.
Osaka then gained the momentum and broke a third time to take the match to a deciding set.
“I think in the first set I was so nervous, I wasn’t moving my feet. I felt like I was not playing to my best. There are too many things in my head. It would be very embarrassing to lose this in under an hour so I just have to try my best,” Osaka said of the turnaround.
The final set saw complete domination from the 22-year-old former US Open champion. She took a comfortable 3-1 lead. Azarenka slipped further and lost the opportunity to come back as Osaka went up 4-1.
After that, Osaka dominated and claimed the set 6-3. With the runner-up finish, Azarenka said she’s proud of herself.
“I haven’t had such results in quite a long time, so I’m very excited for it. Today, it’s a loss, but it doesn’t change for me much. Of course I would have loved to win today. It is what it is,” Azarenka said.
“I gave everything that I could today on the court. I felt that I progressed a lot. I’ve played a lot of great matches. I felt that I’ve tested myself physically, mentally on very difficult stages. It’s been great. I want to continue to keep going the same way, enjoy myself,” she added.