China Open: Naomi Osaka beats world number one Ashleigh Barty in final
Naomi Osaka came from a set down to beat world number one Ashleigh Barty in an enthralling China Open final.
The Japanese world number four came through 3-6 6-3 6-2 to win her second title in a row, having also triumphed at the Pan Pacific Open in September.
She has won 10 straight matches since losing in the last 16 of the US Open.
“In this tournament I was not calm as I normally am. I threw my racquet at least once every match,” said Osaka. “I felt like I had something to prove.”
This title ranks as one of the biggest of 21-year-old two-time Grand Slam champion Osaka’s career, because it is only her second premier WTA title – the top level of tournaments on the women’s tour after the majors.
Australian Barty, 23, replaced Osaka as world number one earlier this year and Sunday’s final in Beijing, which lasted just under two hours, was fitting of a contest between two of the top players on the planet.
One break of serve for Barty settled the first set, with Osaka punished for three double faults in the sixth game.
But despite seeming frustrated, the Japanese applied pressure early in the second set and eventually broke serve in the sixth game to level the match.
She repeated the feat in the first game of the decider, and did so again to take a 5-2 lead – before sealing victory on her second match point.
“I was telling myself to keep fighting even through my attitude was really trash,” Osaka added. “I just really wanted to win here.” – bbc.com