Naomi Osaka Battles Past Victoria Azarenka To Lift Her Third Grand Slam Title at US Open 2020

After two long weeks, the curtains came down in the Women’s Championship in the US Open 2020. Fourth seed Naomi Osaka of Japan was up against unseeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. These two were scheduled to lock their horns in the Western and Southern Open. However, Naomi pulled out of the final owing to discomfort in her left hamstring.

The same thing was not repeated twice as Naomi and Azarenka graced the Arthur Ashe stadium for the finals. Both the players were looking forward to their 3rd Grand Slams. However, for Naomi, it was the quest for her 2nd US Open, while Azarenka was looking towards her maiden US Open title.

The feud was between the young and the experienced. While one is promising and has loads of potential, the other one came in with years of blood, sweat, and tears—a sensational final in terms of entertainment and captivating gameplay.

Azarenka came into the finals riding waves of success. Defeating Serena Williams in the semi-finals, she stepped into a major final after 7 years and 5 days. At the same time, Naomi defeated Jennifer Brady on her semi-finals in a three-set match.

Victoria Azarenka takes the first set with ease

Victoria Azarenka exposed her lethal side right at the beginning of the match. Breaking Naomi’s service, she sent a strong message to her opponent. Holding on to her service, she readily made it 2-0.

Both the players held on to their next services to stretch the scores to 2-1. Azarenka again served for the game and took it with ease. Naomi tried to keep her game simple and rally the points. Although some excellent play from Azarenka saw her break Naomi’s service to lead 4 games to 1.

Azarenka was on a roll as she booked the next two game points to walk away with the set 6-1. Breaking Naomi’s service for the third time in a set, Victoria Azarenka demolished her. Victoria Azarenka had the Midas’ touch today in US Open 2020 finals. Whatever she did turn in her favor.

Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Victoria Azarenka of Belarus serves against Naomi Osaka of Japan (not pictured) in the women’s singles final on day thirteen of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center |Reuters

Naomi Osaka swept the second set

The second set started off where it had left. Azarenka continued her lethal demolition against the 22-year-old. She kept her serve to lead 1-0 in the set. Azarenka extended her lead in the second set by breaking Naomi’s service. Naomi wasn’t ready to let it go without even striking her deadly fangs. She broke Azarenka’s service to reduce the gap between them. The scores read 2-1 in favor of Azarenka.

It was quite evident that Naomi was getting back her rhythm. After breaking Azarenka’s service, she kept her calm to hold on to her service equalizing for the first time in the finals. Osaka dusted off the rust real quick and flashed some of her brilliance. Her grit and determination resulted in breaking Azarenka’s service to lead for the first time in the match with 4 games to 3.

Some ferocious backhand play from the 2018 US Open champion saw herself leading the game 5-3 as she held on to her service. Azarenka was serving to stay in the set. Either of the players was not ready to give away the game without a fight. After a long feud between the two, Naomi walked away with the game and pocketed the set 6-3.

Naomi Osaka returns a shot of Victoria Azarenka in the finals of US Open 2020
Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits the ball against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the women’s singles final match on day 13 of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. |Reuters

Osaka wraps up the deciding set

Victoria Azarenka and Naomi Osaka were cautious as the last set was up. Holding on to the services each shared 1-1 games. Osaka served the second time in the set to stretch her lead before breaking Azarenka’s service to extend the game 3-1 in her favor.

Osaka was serving to go-ahead further in the set. However, Azarenka pulled up a great fight to go 40-0 up in no time. Although Naomi struck back to carry the game to deuce and ultimately won it from Azarenka. Naomi was leading 4-1 and was looking comfortable for the Championship win.

Trailing 4 games to 1, Azarenka was serving with the hope to stay in the fight, However, she seemed helpless with Osaka’s lethal returns. The fourth seed was already 40-15 up and was hungry for the break. Azarenka pulled up her socks to extend Naomi’s wait by taking it to deuce. Although Naomi came close to winning the game point, Victoria Azarenka displayed quite a show by claiming the game in her name.

The match was ignited back to life by Victoria Azarenka. She was trailing 4 games to 2 with Naomi serving. She pulled off quite a few stellar shots to stun Naomi and break her service. Reducing the gap to 1 point, Azarenka was serving to equalize the scores.

Naomi was not all intimidated by Azarenka’s aggression. She kept her game rolling and soon broke Azarenka’s service to lead 5-3 and serve for the championship.

Serving for the Championship, Osaka was feeling the pressure of the Grand Slam. She lost the first point as Azarenka capitalized on her error. It was not enough for Azarenka to come back as Naomi cruised past her taking the set 6-3. Although the wait was extended due to some fascinating display of rallies between them. Osaka’s patience and determination won her the championship.

 

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