A surging Naomi Osaka won her second consecutive final with a three-set victory over top-seeded Ashleigh Barty at the China Open on Sunday.
Osaka bounced back from a set down to cruise through the final sets, defeating the Australian top seed 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
That follows the two-time Grand Slam winner’s victory last month at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in her birthplace of Osaka, Japan, her first singles title since the Australian Open in January.
Japan’s dominant player came into the tour’s Asian leg determined to make a statement following what she has called an on-and-off year that included failing to make a final in Europe or America.
Osaka’s shaky start included a trio of double faults midway through the first set that helped put the French Open champion in the driver’s seat.
The second and third sets were entirely different stories, however, with Osaka bringing her service game under control and pounding her returns down the line. After breaking Barty in the seventh game, victory was all but assured, despite an attempted comeback by the Queensland native in the final game.
In the men’s final, top-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem faces Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas.