Spectacular Women’s Australian Open Final 2019
Osaka’s rise to fame; Kvitova’s return to peak performance
The only reference that came to my mind while seeing Osaka was the ‘Osaka battery’ that is being seen here; which is the most used one in the country too. Honestly, I was not into watching tennis for the last 5 to 6 months, so I was unaware that Osaka had won the U.S Open in 2018 as well. My, oh my, she is one superb player and will surely conquer more fronts in coming years too.
Osaka’s progress since 2018 has been talk of town. She made inroads in US Open 2018 by winning one match after the other. So, since that time I guess she was bound to play much better and that same passion and vigor was also seen for Australian Open 2019.
Talk about Kvitova, then again what a splendid performance by her in the final. Not to forget that she was off touch lately since she had an unfortunate incident few years ago. An unknown intruder had simply barged in her apartment and injured one of her hands. She was out of tennis for many months and it took considerable amount of time to recover and to attain top foreplay.
The Final in Brief
I was out of touch from watching tennis for many months. Still, I always make it a point to follow the four major grand slams in the year. Yet, I was not following matches on the daily basis and only planned to watch the women’s final on 26th of January on Saturday.
The first set showcased at par performance by both mostly. However, after six games Osaka begun to gain good momentum for the lead. The pressure was special on both of the players. Not only due to the final, but also how to remain focused and not getting affected by the pressure.
For Kvitova, it meant something more too. Hardly, any expert thought she will make it to the final in the presence of other formidable players like Halep and the legend Serena Williams. S, I found it quite surprising but glad to find her in the final. Since last year I was wondering why Kvitova was falling short despite being a classy player. So, seeing her in the final was a joy this time.
Whereas when we saw Osaka, she was new for me entirely. Yet, the way she was playing the first set led me to believe that she is a legend in the making. The commentators were even of high admiration for her. They only talked about her grit, power and tenacity with every shot and ensuing play. Soon, I also begin to feel that she has immense ability to play so good and liked her balance when serving as well.
Osaka had won the set by 7 points to 6 against the tiebreak. She was much too confident and probably was not affected much the pressure at all. While Kvitova’s though gave her best was simply intimated and outdone by the sheer brilliance of Osaka for the first set.
After the break, Kvitova was in a better frame of mind. She quickly recovered from the lack of slightly weak performance for the set earlier. Though, Osaka was playing good, yet Kvitova was better off her while serving and while being on the receiving end too. She make it look so easy of getting hold of the winning shots when they mattered most not only for the set but also for staying in competition to save the set and the match. Thus, she won by 7 games to 5 to make it to the final set feeling much composed and calm for sure.
The last set brought pressure on both the opponents. The pressure was equally felt and only much focus and the right shots would augur well for any of them. Despite being much composed, Kvitova could not carry the same momentum for the last set. Probably, she was finding it tough to offset the tremendous stroke play by Osaka. Though she made it at par by 4 games each on serve, yet she was losing ground.
Therefore, Osaka capitalized on her lose stroke play and raced towards victory in the next two games only.
Honestly, it was a pleasure watching a spectacular Women’s final in Australia this time. I had greater joy for both the players and especially was awed by Osaka indeed. Osaka is there to stay and looks as the future Asian Serena to me without doubt too. For Kvitova, again I can say that she will play better and win more grand slams as well.