As in the most beautiful tales, Petra Kvitova closed the circle that had opened almost two years ago, with the aggression and the laceration in the left hand. The hypothesis of retirement, the comeback and, five years after her second win at Wimbledon, here she is again in a final Slam, the first at the Australian Open.
Her opponent will be Naomi Osaka, at the second consecutive Major final. The young Japanese represents the utmost expression of mental strength; her progressive improvements are exponential and her tennis is very fun to see.
The best thing about this final could be just the show that the two protagonists will propose to the Melbourne crowd. Both come to this event after showing, along with the path towards the final, convincing, solid and fun tennis.
Osaka has beaten opponents such as Hsieh Su-Wei, Anastasija Sevastova, Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova. Kvitova has eliminated rivals like Belinda Bencic, Amanda Anisimova, Ashleigh Barty and Danielle Collins. The Czech did not lose a set during the tournament, while the Japanese reached the third set on three occasions.
This is an unprecedented challenge; there are no precedents, and the two tennis players will face each other for the first time in their career just in a Slam final. The tennis shown by Kvitova in this fortnight could be an indication of how the final will end, but Osaka's mental strength could be the decisive factor.
Much will also depend on weather conditions: high temperatures could be a problem for both, perhaps even more for Kvitova. The service will be another important factor in this match. Despite the balance, perhaps Osaka could have a few more chances.
At the crucial moments, she is able to raise the level, without getting discouraged, managing the pressure perfectly (as happened after the second set lost against Pliskova). In her career, the Japanese won 2 titles (Indian Well and US Open) in four finals played.
Kvitova scored 26 titles (2 Slams, a Wimbledon) in 33 finals played. Whoever will win the final will become the new world no. 1 of the WTA Ranking. whoever wins the challenge will take all the glory. Australian Open 2019, women's final - Percentages: Naomi Osaka vs.
Petra Kvitova 55% - 45% ALSO READ: McEnroe explains why Roger Federer got angry during loss to Tsitsipas