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Japan's Osaka wins Australian Open to become world number one

Lucy Nicholson, REUTERS | Japan's Naomi Osaka in action during the women's Australian Open final in Melbourne on January 26, 2019.

Japan's Naomi Osaka battled past Czech eighth seed Petra Kvitova 7-6 (7/2), 5-7, 6-4 to win her first Australian Open crown Saturday and become the new world number one.

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The fourth seed and US Open champion made it two Grand Slam titles in a row after a see-sawing 2hr 27min match.

The hard-fought victory made Osaka the first Asian, male or female, to hold the world's top ranking, taking over from Romania's Simona Halep.

(AFP)

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