Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka were intended to play a couple weeks back in the Western and Southern Open final. Osaka would pull out, citing a left hamstring injury, but just two weeks later they would yet again be the last two standing.
These are the Top 5 Photos from the women's US Open final.
A Quiet Arthur Ashe Stadium
No Honey Deuces and no roars from the crowd, it was an unusual setting and difficult to believe a Grand Slam final was taking place. There were more people in attendance for the final round, and that's because the US Open staff who worked tirelessly to make this event happen were given the opportunity to sit and enjoy the action.
Osaka starts off plagued by errors
The world No. 9 did not come out as focused as her previous match against Jennifer Brady. It seemed as if Osaka was overwhelmed by nerves as she suffered an early break to start the match. Her nervous spell would linger and quickly turn into a lack of consistency as she dumped 13 errors and dropped the opener.
Azarenka takes her foot off the gas
After claiming 10 straight matches in the New York bubble, Azarenka sprinted to a 2-0 lead in the second set and faltered in her second service game, opening a window of hope for Osaka. The 2018 US Open champion began to show signs of life from that moment on, picking up her body language to take the second set 6-3.
Let the battle continue
Osaka continued to build more and more confidence as she stepped into the court and let her shots flow to surge to a 4-1 lead in the third. With the stakes high and the pressure even higher, the match would still tug back and forth.
A championship comeback
Osaka's comeback on one of the biggest stages of tennis is a testament to the player she is. The 22-year-old reached another level, and although opening with a dismal first set, she was able to regroup, reflect and return to her winning form to take her second US Open title with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win. She is now a perfect 9-0 once she reaches the quarterfinals of a major.