Naomi Osaka demonstrated her growing maturity to fight back against Victoria Azarenka in a compelling US Open final and claim her third Grand Slam title.
Japanese fourth seed Osaka, 22, won 1-6 6-3 6-3 for her second US Open title.
The Belarusian, 31, in her first major final since 2013, was broken for 5-3 in the decider before Osaka served out.
Osaka’s maiden victory at Flushing Meadows two years ago came in straight sets against Serena Williams in a hostile environment following the American’s infamous argument with umpire Carlos Ramos.
It left Osaka in tears as she stood on the podium waiting to collect her first Grand Slam trophy.
This second success could not have been more different.
Here she had to fight back from a set down against an inspired Azarenka – and navigate a tricky decider which could have swung either way – on an Arthur Ashe Stadium left virtually empty because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Osaka shrieked with joy as she took her second match point, then calmly lay on the court and stared at the New York sky as she contemplated her latest achievement.
Osaka’s level raised considerably as Azarenka was unable to maintain the intensity she showed in a one-sided opening set.
The fightback ensured Osaka, who won the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open, maintained her record of winning every Grand Slam final she has played in.
“I don’t want to play you in any more finals, I didn’t really enjoy that, it was a really tough match for me,” Osaka jokingly told Azarenka.
She added: “It was really inspiring for me because I used to watch you play here when I was younger. I learned a lot, so thank you.”