Naomi Osaka was relieved and overjoyed as she celebrated winning the US Open for the second time after beating Victoria Azarenka 1-6 6-3 6-3.
The fourth seed completed a double at Flushing Meadows after her 2018 triumph despite having won only one game in the opening set when Azarenka, playing in her first major final in seven years, looked dominant.
The 22-year-old showed tremendous character to recover from losing the first set, and she was incredibly relieved in her victory speech after she battled through the decider to triumph in New York once more.
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"Firstly, I want to congratulate Vika. I actually don't want to play you in more finals," Osaka said, turning to smile at Azarenka during the trophy presentation.
I didn't really enjoy that. That was a really tough match for me.
"And yes, really inspiring for me because I used to watch you play here when I was younger so just to have the opportunity to play you is really great and I learned a lot from you."
When asked about her celebration and the way she very carefully lay down on the ground after she clinched victory, she had an amusing explanation for it.
"I always see everyone collapse after match point, but I always think, 'you may injure yourself,' so I wanted to do it safely," she said.

Naomi Osaka of Japan lays down in celebration after winning her Women's Singles final match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on Day Thirteen of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Image credit: Getty Images

As for Azarenka, she was emotional in her speech and thanked her team and fans for believing in her comeback.
"I want to thank my team for sticking with me and believing in me," she said.
"It has been a long road of getting here, but this was fun, so I hope to see you guys again soon."
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