Naomi Osaka Becomes World No 1

Naomi Osaka became the world’s No. 1 women’s singles player on Monday following her victory in Saturday’s Australian Open final.

The 21-year-old Japanese, who has won the last two Grand Slams, is the first singles player from Asia to top the tennis rankings on either the men’s or women’s tour.

Osaka, who shot to global fame after claiming her first Grand Slam title last September at the U.S. Open, went into the season-opening Grand Slam as world No. 4.

She however moved up to top the rankings after edging Czech’s Petra Kvitova in three sets the final.

“I’m beyond excited to become the new WTA World No. 1,” Osaka was quoted as saying on the WTA website.

“I’ve always dreamt of being in this position and I am honoured to be part of the elite group of players who have reached the No. 1 ranking.”

Osaka is the 26th woman to hold the top ranking and the youngest to become No. 1 since Caroline Wozniacki, who reached the top spot in 2010 at the age of 20 years and 92 days, according to the WTA.

Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, jumped four spots to No. 2, while Romania’s Simona Halep, who had held the top spot since last February, dropped to third.

The previously highest-ranked female player from Asia was former Chinese great Li Na, who reached No. 2 in February 2014.

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