Australian Open Final: Osaka battles past Kvitova to capture first Grand Slam of 2019 (RECAP)
Relive the action via RT Sport's live tennis updates from the women's final of the Australian Open as Naomi Osaka claimed victory after a thrilling contest with Petra Kvitova in Melbourne.
26 January 201911:51 GMT
THANKS FOR JOINING US!
That's the end of our live coverage of the women's final at the Australian Open.
We saw one of the world's best players prove that they can come back from a career-threatening injury to compete at the highest level once again as Petra Kvitova produced some brilliant tennis to go all the way to the final and push her opponent to the limit.
And we also saw the latest chapter in the story of the newest hero in women's tennis, as Naomi Osaka claimed back-to-back Grand Slam tournament wins, moved into the World Number 1 spot and cemented herself as a bona-fide superstar of the game.
Check out our RT Sport match report on the final as Osaka claimed the title after a thrilling match in Melbourne.
- 11:42 GMT
- 11:30 GMT
FORGETFUL OSAKA PAYS TRIBUTE
Naomi Osaka paid tribute to Kvitova for coming back from her tough times, and said she always wanted to play her.
She also thanked the Melbourne crowd, who have been in her corner throughout the tournament.
Osaka admitted "public speaking isn't really my strong suit" and later revealed she'd prepared for a post-match speech, but still managed to forget half of them.
"I read notes before this, but I still forgot what I was supposed to say!"
- 11:25 GMT
EMOTIONAL KVITOVA SAYS THANK YOU
Petra Kvitova gets a huge ovation as she takes to the stage to receive her runner-up check and trophy.
The Czech manages to raise a smile as she stepped up to the mic and greeted the crowd with a cheery: "Hello, everyone!
"It was a great final. Well done, Naomi, and congratulations on being number one, as well."
And her emotion started to show as she paid tribute to her team, who helped her back to top form after she was stabbed in the racket hand by a home intruder back in 2016.
"Thank you for sticking with me, even though we didn't know if I would be able to hold a racket again."
- 11:23 GMT
TEARS OF VICTORY... AND DEFEAT
Check out the reactions of Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova as they react from their chairs after an incredible Australian Open women's final.
- 11:12 GMT
GAME, SET, MATCH, NAOMI OSAKA!
Naomi Osaka holds serve and is the Australian Open champion after a thrilling three-set match with Petra Kvitova.
An ace and a brilliant forehand gave Osaka the perfect start, then an error from Kvitova gave the Japanese star three match points.
Kvitova saved one, but couldn't save the others, as she fired a service return wide left.
Osaka wins 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 after an excellent final.
Kvitova's form this week has shown that she's back to her best, while Osaka's victory proves that she is undoubtedly tennis' brightest new star.
That's back-to-back Grand Slam titles for Osaka whose victory now moves her to the top of the WTA rankings. She's now the World Number 1.
- 11:08 GMT
KVITOVA KEEPS IT GOING
Kvitova needed a strong service game to give her some confidence, and she just delivered one.
She wins to 15 to pull back to 5-4. Now it all comes down to the next game.
Naomi Osaka will serve for the title. Petra Kvitova needs to break serve to stay alive.
- 11:07 GMT
HERE WE GO!
Osaka holds and celebrates strongly as she moves to into a 5-3 lead in the deciding set.
Kvitova's task now is a mountainous one. She MUST win both of the next two games to keep this match - and her Australian Open hopes - alive.
- 10:59 GMT
Petra Kvitova showed every ounce of her competitive spirit as she defended THREE break points to hold serve and pull back to 4-3 down in the final set.
Osaka is back to her best, and Kvitova has had to raise her own level to stay with her and keep a foothold in the match.
She still needs that break of serve, but she's hanging in there.