Naomi Osaka Is the Women's Singles Final Winner at U.S. Open! Tennis Star Defeats Victoria Azarenka
Naomi Osaka has defeated Victoria Azarenka to win the 2020 U.S. Open Women's Singles final on Saturday.
Though Osaka, 22, struggled in the first set with Azarenka, 31, winning 6-1, the Japanese tennis star, who has a left hamstring injury, took the second set 6-3. In the end, Osaka won the third set 6-3.
Proudly cheering in the empty stands was her boyfriend, rapper YBN Cordae.
Sunday's finals match at Arthur Ashe Stadium was their fourth meeting. Their last match was in the second round at the 2019 French Open, which Osaka ultimately won. Two weeks prior, Osaka and Azarenka were supposed to play in the Western & Southern Open final but Osaka withdrew due to her injury.
The U.S. Open victory is Osaka's third major title, having won the 2018 U.S. Open and 2019 Australian Open.
Osaka made it to the finals after defeating American tennis player Jennifer Brady (7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-3) while Serena Williams fell to Azarenka at Flushing Meadows. Azarenka defeated the 23-time Grand Slam champion in a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 rally.
Osaka — who was ranked fourth — won the U.S. Open final in 2018, defeating Williams in a dramatic match that was marred by a verbal altercation between the 38-year-old tennis star and chair umpire Carlos Ramos. Williams was given three separate on-court violations, which she later suggested that the umpire's actions were motivated by sexism.
Azarenka, ranked world 27th, last made it to a U.S. Open final in 2013. Her most recent singles Grand Slam win was at the Australian Open that same year. In December 2016, Azarenka welcomed her son Leo and returned to the tour that following June.
Osaka has made headlines since the start of the 2020 tournament by wearing face masks with the names of victims of racial injustice to her matches.
On Saturday, Osaka wore a black mask with the name of Tamir Rice. Throughout the U.S. Open she wore masks with the names of Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, George Floyd, and Philando Castile.
In a post-match interview earlier in the tournament, she said wearing the masks was a way to use her platform to spread knowledge of police brutality and racism not just in the U.S., but across the world.
"I think tennis, people watch it all around the world and things that we think are common names are probably not common overseas," Osaka said. "For me I just want people to have more knowledge. I feel like the platform that I have right now is something that I used to take for granted and I just feel like I should be using it for something."
On Sunday, after her win, Osaka was asked about the different masks and her purpose behind raising awareness about the tragic deaths of Rice, Arbery, Martin, Taylor, McClain, Floyd, and Castile.
"The point is to make people start talking," she said, later adding, "For me, I feel like the more retweet it gets, that's so lame, but the more people talk about it."