Naomi Osaka’s Upset in the Pan Pacific Open Final

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Naomi Osaka’s Upset in the Pan Pacific Open Final

Osaka and Pliskova at the Pan Pacific Open trophy ceremony.

Osaka and Pliskova at the Pan Pacific Open trophy ceremony.

Osaka and Pliskova at the Pan Pacific Open trophy ceremony.

Osaka and Pliskova at the Pan Pacific Open trophy ceremony.

Emily Sherman, Editor

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Naomi Osaka shocked the world during a fairly controversial U.S. Open Women’s Singles final this year, defeating tennis phenomenon and former World No. 1 Serena Williams in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.  At just twenty years old, Osaka became the first Japanese player to ever win a Grand Slam title, making history after an emotional trophy ceremony.

Shortly after the final on September 8th, 2018, Osaka continued to demonstrate her extraordinary abilities on court during the Pan Pacific Open.  This WTA tournament takes place on hard court annually in Tokyo, Japan. Being the first Japanese player to ever win a Grand Slam title, it is reasonable to conclude that this tournament served as an outlet for national pride.

Moving through the tournament, Osaka swiftly defeated all of her opponents in straight sets.  Therefore, a disrupt in Osaka’s winning streak during the final led to an overflow of emotions and a significant setback.  Osaka was set to play Czech player Karolina Pliskova, former World No.1 who is currently ranked 7th in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association.    Osaka lost in the in the final 6-4, 6-4.

Karolina Pliskova, one of the best players in the world, was defeated in the U.S. Open Women’s Singles tournament during the Quarter-final by Serena Williams 6-4, 6-3.  This ironic switch between players demonstrates how inconsistent tennis at the professional level is when all players possess extraordinary abilities. During the Pan Pacific Open Final, Osaka had seven aces compared to Pliskova’s six.  Osaka also double-faulted twice, essentially losing a point due to her serve. Pliskova had no double faults. Overall, Pliskova beat Osaka by winning a total of 57 points compared to Osaka’s 47.

Pliskova ended Osaka’s 10-match winning streak in a little over an hour.  Osaka, hoping to give home fans a victory to celebrate in Tokyo, commented after the match, “I’ve literally never felt more tired in my entire life.”  Osaka also reported feeling quite stressed to her coach after the match. Pliskova congratulated Osaka on her past few wins, and noted, “Naomi was a little bit tired, you could see that.  But the future is bright for her.”

Congratulations to Pliskova on her success, and hopefully the world will be able to see Osaka shine again like she did throughout the U.S. Open.