Naomi Osaka and Caroline Wozniacki contested a tight final at the 2016 Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
At the 2016 US Open, unseeded players Caroline Wozniacki and Naomi Osaka both put on noteworthy performances: Wozniacki, whose year had been hampered by injuries that caused her ranking to plummet, left New York back in the top 30 after a run to the semifinals. Meanwhile, Osaka advanced to the third round and had Madison Keys on the ropes before the American rallied for the win.
The strong run of form continued for Osaka and Wozniacki at their next tournament, the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Granted a wild card into the event, Osaka posted wins against the number-six seed Dominika Cibulkova and Elina Svitolina en route to her first career final. Meanwhile, Wozniacki knocked out the number-four seed Carla Suarez Navarro and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska, the second seed, to advance to the championship match.
Playing in her first career championship match on the WTA Tour against a former world No. 1, one would expect nerves to be a factor for the 18-year-old Osaka. Perhaps buoyed by the home support, Osaka kept pace with her more experienced opponent and broke serve to go up 4-3. However, Wozniacki broke back and went on to take the first set 7-5.
From there, the Dane went on a roll, storming to a 5-0 lead. Osaka, though, went on a run to show that she wasn’t done. Japan’s budding star recaptured one of the breaks to bring it to 5-3. Her rally ended up falling just short as Wozniacki served out the match, drawing an error from Osaka on match point to take her first title of the year.
Osaka was the second player from Japan to reach the final in the history of the event, after Kimiko Date won in 1995.
With her second title at the tournament, Wozniacki became the fifth player in the 2000s to win the event more than once.
This was the ninth consecutive year Wozniacki captured at least one title.
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