Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Pliskova snaps Osaka streak for title — WTA roundup

Pliskova snaps Osaka streak for title — WTA roundup

The hard-serving Czech spoiled the party in front of a decidedly pro-Osaka crowd in Tokyo on Sunday, taking the Pan Pacific Open title with a 6-4, 6-4 win over her Japanese opponent.

Osaka defeated Italy's Camila Giorgi in the semifinals and extends her winning streak to 10 matches.

Playing in her first tournament since upsetting Serena Williams to win the U.S. Open on September 8, third-seeded Osaka hadn't dropped a set previous to Sunday's final but was frustrated from the outset by the big-serving Czech player.

The frustration boiled over when Osaka double faulted in the ninth game of the second set to set up Pliskova's second break.

The 20-year-old, looked at a loss for ideas against Pliskova, six years her senior, and buried her head in a towel during the changeover.

Klizan, the 2012 champion here, won in 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours 16 minutes to chalk up his first win over the 33-year-old Wawrinka in their fourth head-to-head meeting. "As I am feeling very exhausted today, maybe I wasn't doing the little things well".

"Naomi was playing so good the whole tournament, the future is bright". She's 0-3 in finals for her career.

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The Swiss triple Grand Slam champion, who was a wildcard entry, broke Klizan in the first game of the match and went on to win the opening set in 36 minutes.

Pliskova and Osaka had split their previous two meetings, but the hometown hero started the Tokyo meeting as the favourite after her historic NY triumph. "Naomi was playing so good all tournament but I think she was a little bit exhausted today". Osaka whacked her racket against her sneakers in anger at her wastefulness and, as the strain began to show, she called for her coach Sascha Bajin before groaning: "I feel so stressed out".

But Pliskova slowly turned the screw and broke for 3-2 with a fizzing backhand her opponent swished well wide.

"But I won, that's important, which means I have a chance to improve again." said the former Wolrd Number one, Pliskova. "It's the last match also, so I just want to put in everything, what I have left in body". Pliskova said after her victory.

The third set was tight with a break of serve coming early for Pliskova in the third game to lead 2-1.

Before she withdrew, she said her chances of playing in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province were "very low".

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