In a battle of the world’s two most recent No. 1s, Naomi Osaka came out on top today.
After going down a set against Ashleigh Barty, the current world No. 1, Osaka bounced back to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 at the China Open.
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It was the second straight China Open title for Osaka, who was seeded No. 4 going into the tournament. The Nike athlete will move into the No. 3 spot tomorrow, with the chance to regain No. 1 — the spot she held following her Australian Open women’s singles title in January — by the end of 2019.
Osaka struck up a Nike deal in April, switching from rival Adidas after her contract expired in 2018. The star, who plays for Japan, has additional deals with watch company Citizen, car manufacturer Nissan and Japanese airline All Nippon Airways.
Meanwhile, Barty has worked with Fila for a number of years. She renewed her deal with the Italian sportswear company in early 2018.
Barty jumped to the No. 1 spot in June and has remained in the top position since. After taking a few years off from tennis to pursue professional cricket, the native Australian has earned high-profile wins in 2019, including at the Miami and French Opens.
Osaka has not lost a match since her fourth round upset at the U.S. Open in September. The women will be in competition against each other next at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen later this month.
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