Naomi Osaka pocketed a second title on the trot as she fought from a set down to defeat World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in the China Open final on Sunday. The two-time Grand Slam champion emerged victorious after 110 minutes in chilly Beijing 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The Japanese was coming off a victory at the Pan Pacific Open and beat US Open champion Bianca Andreescu and title holder Caroline Wozniacki en route to the final.
The final did not start well for Osaka, who served two double faults on the way to being broken in the sixth game and losing the opening set.
The 21-year-old’s fightback started in the sixth game of the second set as Barty hit a forehand long to trail 2-4. Osaka kept her cool at one set apiece and an immediate break at the start of the second left her in control.
It was the third title of 2019 for Osaka and fifth overall, but she revealed that she needed to give herself a pep talk after her early struggles in the final.
“Basically I was telling myself to keep fighting even though my attitude was really trash. This is a final, I’m really privileged to be here in the first place, so keep fighting,” she said.