Photo/IllutrationNaomi Osaka reacts after defeating Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3 in the Toray Pan Pacific final on Sept. 22 in Osaka. (The Asahi Shimbun)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Naomi Osaka won her first singles title since the Australian Open in January by beating Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3 in the Toray Pan Pacific final on Sunday.

Enjoying strong support from a parochial crowd, the former No. 1-ranked Osaka dominated the match with her powerful groundstrokes and broke Pavlyuchenkova's serve twice to take the opening set in 31 minutes.

Top-seeded Osaka didn't ease off in the second set, denying the Russian any chance of getting a foothold in the match and closed out with an ace.

It is Osaka's first title in the country of her birth — she lost finals in Tokyo in 2016 and '18 — and fourth in her career. She won back-to-back majors at the 2018 U.S. Open in 2018 and the Australian Open in January.