In 📷 - two-time Grand Slam champion @Petra_Kvitova is in the @AustralianOpen final after beating Danielle Collins.— WTA (@WTA) January 24, 2019
Will it be another title and the World No.1 ranking for the 🇨🇿 ?
GALLERY >>> https://t.co/xkKFNSojKF pic.twitter.com/j1IQaYmIIc
As outrageously as the draw unfolded in Melbourne, in the end, we come down to the final two players, and they are two women who are certainly at home in big finals. Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and 2018 U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka will play to determine not only who is the 2019 Australian Open champion, but also who will become number 1 in the world.
The Czech star, for all her achievements, has never held the number 1 ranking. And while she has traditionally done well in the Australian Open warmup tournaments and has always looked like a title contender, she has never won the title. The last time she was in a semifinal in Melbourne was 2012, and she lost that match to Maria Sharapova.
A second Grand Slam final for @Naomi_Osaka_ after beating Karolina Pliskova in win Down Under— WTA (@WTA) January 24, 2019
REPORT >>> https://t.co/Jk1d7xY1Gm#AusOpen #大坂なおみ pic.twitter.com/DSFRAX5x2q
Osaka, who began playing at the Open in 2016, reached the round of 16 last year, and was defeated in that match by Simona Halep,
There will big serving and big hitting in the women's final. Both players play aggressively and like to take charge of the rallies. It's not wishful thinking to believe that this last match of the tournament could be a thriller.
Paths to the final:
NAOMI OSAKA (4)
round 1--def. Magda Linette
round 2--def. Tamara Zidansek
round 3--def. Hsieh Su-Wei (28)
round of 16--def. Anastasija Sevastova (13)
quarterfinals--def. Elina Svitolina (6)
semifinals--def. Karolina Pkiskova (7)
PETRA KVITOVA (8)
round 1--Magdalena Rybarikova
round 2--Irina-Camelia Begu
round 3--def. Belinda Bencic
round of 16--def. Amanda Anisimova
quarterfinals--def. Ash Barty (15)
semifinals--def. Danielle Collins
On the one hand, it's notable that Osaka had to knock out four seeded players to get to the final, while Kvitova faced only one. However, Bencic, Anisimova and Collins were all very dangerous players in this draw; Kvitova's draw, in other words, was tougher than it looks on paper.
Back in the finals! 🤗💙 #AusOpen #heretocreate #specialmoments— Kristina Mladenovic (@KikiMladenovic) January 23, 2019
Qualifiées pour une nouvelle finale de grand chelem💥😍🙊💪🏻🦁 📸@corinnedubreuil pic.twitter.com/0kUvkMZHo3
In doubles, defending champions and 2nd seeds Timea Babos and Kiki Mladenovic will face the unseeded team of Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai in the final. Of course, the team of Stosur and Shuai is hardly an obscure entity; Stosur is a former doubles world number 1. Stosur and Shuai knocked out the top seeds, Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, they took care of the other Czech team, Barbora Strycova and Marketa Vondrousova.
Mladenovic, in addition to winning the 2018 title with Babos, also won the 2016 French Open, with Caroline Garcia. The Frenchwoman was a finalist at Wimbledon in 2014, and she was a finalist at the U.S. Open in 2016 and 2018.
Stosur, with Lisa Raymond, won the U.S. Open in 2005. In 2006, Raymond and Stosur won the French Open. Stosur was a finalist in Melbourne in 2006, and was a finalist at Wimbledon in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
Great news for Ground Pass holders. You will have access to @RodLaverArena for the doubles finals as follows:— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 24, 2019
🎾 Friday 25 January | Women's Doubles | 4:00 pm AEDT
🎾 Sunday 27 January | Men's Doubles | 3:00 pm AEDT
Will you be there cheering them on? #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/9BsWKLd0GE