It was Osaka’s 11th consecutive victory, equaling the longest streak of her profession, and she or he was made to work onerous by Kvitova in a seesawing encounter in Shenzhen, China.
In a repeat of this 12 months’s Australian Open last, when Osaka received the second Grand Slam of her profession, the world No. three rallied from a break right down to win the primary set.
She then misplaced the second set having led by a break, however managed the ultimate set to report her first WTA Finals victory having misplaced all three of her matches final 12 months in Singapore.
“I am not nice at first rounds,” mentioned Osaka after the match. “It takes me slightly bit to heat up. I believe that this event forces you to do effectively early.”
The WTA Finals pit the highest eight seeds in ladies’s tennis towards one another, and this 12 months’s event, which is being held in China for the primary time, sees a report $four.725 million on supply — greater than every other event within the historical past of the game.
Osaka and Kvitova have been competing in a round-robin group that additionally contains Asheligh Barty and Belinda Bencic, who went head-to-head in Sunday’s second recreation.
World No. 1 Barty, who claimed her first grand slam at this 12 months’s French Open, got here again from shedding the primary set to defeat Bencic 5-7 6-1 6-2.
Meaning Barty and Osaka take early leads within the pink group, whereas Karolina Pliskova, Bianca Andreescu, Simona Halep and defending champion Elina Svitolina make up the purple group, which will get underway on Monday. The 2 winners and two runners up then proceed to the semifinals.