Naomi Osaka captured her fourth WTA title, and her first since the Australian Open earlier this year, on Sunday with a dominant win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in her home city of Osaka to capture the Toray Pan Pacific Open title.
Both women had previously been the losing finalist at this tournament, Osaka being defeated by Caroline Wozniacki in 2016 and Karolina Pliskova in 2018 and Pavlyuchenkova falling to Wozniacki in 2017, and it was the Japanese who moved one step further today, not facing break point as she won 6-2, 6-3 in just 69 minutes in front of her home crowd.
Osaka got off to a perfect start, breaking the Russian early on her way to a 3-0 lead, and the Japanese looked in complete control throughout the first set, breaking for a second time at 5-2 to take the opening set.
The top seed also struck early in set two, breaking in the fourth game and consolidating for a 4-1 lead to close in on victory. Pavlyuchenkova did not go down without a fight, saving break points down 1-4 and two match points at 2-5 down, though she could do little to stop Osaka’s charge, with a hold to love handing the Japanese the title.
It has not been a particularly easy season for Osaka since winning her second Grand Slam title in Melbourne earlier this year, though winning her first title since then without dropping a set will undoubtedly provide a huge amount of confidence for the Japanese, who is currently without a coaching since splitting with Jermaine Jenkins. It will also prove to be an encouraging tournament for Pavlyuchenkova, who was in her first final of 2019.
Pavlyuchenkova will next be in action at the Wuhan Open this week, whilst Osaka will return to the tour at the China Open next week.