Women's Match of the Decade No. 9: Osaka d. Kvitova, 2019 Aussie Open

Women's Match of the Decade No. 9: Osaka d. Kvitova, 2019 Aussie Open

The 7–6 (2), 5–7, 6–4 final win lifted the Japanese to No. 1, and gave tennis a new type of star for a new decade to come.

Over the next two weeks, we're looking back at 10 years’ worth of memorable marathons and top-shelf tennis from the WTA’s boldest and bravest.​

See the entire women's and men's lists here, and relive each match with our video retrospectives.


"For me, this entire match more than anything, it felt like we were equal," Naomi Osaka said after edging Petra Kvitova for her second straight Slam. The Scores, the points, and the shots all indicated the same thing. A decade of ever-more powerful play in the WTA culminated with this cross-generational shootout.

Some matches are famous for their comebacks, and this one looked as if it might give us the most famous of all. Down a set, 3–5, and 0–40, Kvitova was all but defeated. Inches from the finish line, though, Osaka tripped, and Kvitova got up and raced past her, saving three championship points and winning four straight games for the set. When she held at love to go up 1-0 in the third, it looked like destiny was on the Czech’s side.


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But instead of a legendary comeback, this match ended with a set-long goal-line stand, as Osaka regrouped and reclaimed the initiative. Fittingly for a player from a new generation, the 21-year-old used a new mental approach. Rather than asserting her dominance, she asserted her lack of privilege.

“I can’t really act entitled,” Osaka said. “To be playing one of the best players in the world, to lose a set, suddenly to think I’m so much better than her.”

By the time the match was over, Osaka was better than anyone. The win lifted her to No. 1, and gave tennis a new type of star for a new decade to come.