Naomi Osaka will be the new World No. 1 when the WTA rankings are updated on Monday (January 28) to become the first player from Japan and first from Asia to climb to the pinnacle of the sport. In so doing, she displaces Romania’s Simona Halep from the top.
With the climb to World No. 1, Osaka is the first player since America’s Jennifer Capriati to win her next slam after maiden major title. She is also the youngest, at 21 years and three months, to reach World No. 1 since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010.
Osaka had become the first Japanese player to win a grand slam title at the US Open. She has now become the first player from Japan to win the Australian Open as well with a three set triumph over Petra Kvitova on Saturday (January 26).
With the win, Osaka has continued her winning streak at Slams to take it up for 14 straight matches. She has now also won 60 straight matches after winning the first set with her last defeat coming in 2016.
A year ago, Osaka was ranked World No 72 and was still chasing her first WTA title. Fast forward 365 days and Osaka has won two grand slam titles and has climbed the top of the charts. On Saturday, she became the first player not called Serena Williams, to win consecutive grand slam titles with a nervous 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 win at Melbourne Park. The last female player, not Serena to win back-to-back slams, was Kim Clijsters who achieved the feat in 2010-11 with US Open and Australian Open titles.
“Hello. Sorry public speaking isn’t really my strong side. I just hope I can get through this. Huge congrats to Petra. I’ve always wanted to play you. You’re really amazing and I’m really honored to have played you in a final of a Grand Slam,” said Osaka in the presentation ceremony.
“Thanks to my team. I really don’t think I would have made it through this week without you guys. I read notes before this but I still forgot the rest of what I was supposed to say,” she went on to add.