Last Saturday I sporadically watched the final match of the Australian Open on TV — sporadically because whenever I turned on the TV set, Naomi Osaka started losing points to Petra Kvitova. I would then superstitiously switched it off, hoping that Osaka would regain momentum while I was not watching. Mysteriously enough, she always did.
After I switched on the TV for the fourth time, they were in the last set and 10 minutes later Osaka finally won the championship. When Kvitova failed to return Osaka's powerful service, I first could not believe what had just happened and then I was convinced that her victory in the U.S. Open last year was by no means a fluke.
Osaka's fans in Tokyo and elsewhere were overjoyed by her victory. Japan's mainstream media reported the breaking news referring to Naomi Osaka as the first Japanese female tennis player to win two consecutive Grand Slam titles and to be ranked World No. 1. Yes, she is. But not quite so, is she?