Naomi Osaka rallies past the world No.6 Petra Kvitova to defeat her 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-4 in her first round-robin match in the red group at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzen 2019 on Sunday.
With this victory, Osaka also claims her first win at the WTA Finals after making a debut last year, when she lost all the three round-robin matches.
In a rematch of the 2019 Australian Open finals, Petra Kvitova dominated right from the start as she broke Naomi Osaka’s opening service game and held a confident first service game to love. Petra Kvitova produced two more breakpoints on Osaka’s second service game of the match. However, Naomi Osaka held her nerves to stay there and held a crucial service game at 2-1.
Drop shot magic!!!
Petra Kvitova, who lost only three points in her first three service games, gift a breakpoint to Naomi Osaka on her fourth after a pair of double faults. The Japanese finally found the breakthrough as Kvitova hit the third double fault of the game on the breakpoint.
Backhand as strong as forehand
Petra Kvitova responded well in the next game when she earned 3 chances to get a rebreak but the 22-year-old denied all the three breakpoints and after it took 40 minutes for the world no.3 to take the lead at 5-4 for the first time in the match and also got the rhythm back in her game.
The two players then held their respective service games to take the set through to the tiebreaker as a reminiscent of the opening set of the first major finals of the 2019 season.
Naomi Osaka changed gears in the tiebreaker as she claimed the first six points with three mini-breaks. The Japanese roared back in the set claiming the tiebreaker 7-1 and
In a reminiscence of the opening set, Petra Kvitova broke Naomi Osaka for the second time in the match in her opening service game of the set. Osaka then hurled her racquet into the court out of disappointment after the break of serve.
Naomi Osaka was back on serve after Kvitova offered her a chance to get a rebreak with four errors including a couple of double faults. The Japanese star was all over the Czech as she broke again to win three consecutive games and get a 3-2 lead on serve.
The 29-year-old responded well as she found a way to get back in the match with a rebreak in the next game. Petra Kvitova leveled back the match at 1-1 after breaking Osaka while she was to stay in the set at 5-4, hence securing the second set 6-4 and taking the match to the distance.
Excellent deep volley
Kvitova put forth 2 doubles faults to give away a game Osaka in the 3rd game of the match as the 22-year-old got the breakthrough that she was seeking.
She again broke the Czech at 5-2 to serve out for the match in the next game. However, Kvitova fought back hard to save two match points and get a break to stay in the set.
The Japanese star then served out the match, claiming the deciding set 6-4 after 2 hours and 40 minutes.