Naomi Osaka won back-to-back Grand Slam titles and became the new world number one after beating Petra Kvitova in a dramatic Australian Open final.
The 21-year-old overcame a sudden collapse in the second set, after holding three match points on Kvitova’s serve at 5-3, to win 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-4.
The Japanese star was able to celebrate the moment fully, unlike her maiden triumph at the US Open last September, where Serena Williams’ meltdown dominated the occasion.
A year after Caroline Wozniacki became the first Danish player to win a Grand Slam singles title, the country was able to celebrate more success with 16-year-old Clara Tauson claiming the girls’ title.
Of her famous compatriot, Tauson said: “We say hi whenever we see each other. I’ve practised with her, too. Of course, she’s a big inspiration for everyone in Denmark playing tennis and other sports. She’s very nice.”
Wheelchair star Dylan Alcott is one of the faces of the Australian Open, and he lived up to his billing by winning a fifth successive quad title in a match broadcast live on free-to-air Channel 9.
The 28-year-old Australian broke down during the trophy ceremony, saying: “I remember I was 14 years old and I was lying in bed, and all I wanted to do was make it in the mainstream in some way. I wanted to show that people with disability can be elite at what they do.”
The final act of this year’s Australian Open could be its best, with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal renewing their intense rivalry.
The last time they played each other at Melbourne Park, in the final seven years ago, Djokovic eventually prevailed in five sets after five hours and 53 minutes.
Djokovic can become the first man to win the title seven times, while victory for Nadal would make him the first man in the Open era, and only the third in history, to win all four slam titles at least twice.