Tokyo: Japan’s Naomi Osaka ended an eight-month title drought by winning the Pan Pacific Open in her home city on Sunday, her first trophy since her second consecutive Grand Slam triumph at the Australian Open in January.
The former world No. 1 overwhelmed Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3 in just over an hour to make it third time lucky in finals at the tournament after finishing runner-up in 2016 and 2018.
The US-based star, winner of last year’s US Open, was born in Osaka and it was clearly a happy homecoming for the 21-year-old, who smiled her way through a dominant week on court.
“I have played finals here. This is my third time. So I am really glad that I was able to win, and for it to be in the city where I was born makes it really special,” Osaka said.