Karolina Pliskova upsets Naomi Osaka to win Pan Pacific Open
Karolina Pliskova upsets Naomi Osaka to win Pan Pacific Open
Naomi Osaka upset by Karolina Pliskova in Toray Pan Pacific Open final
26 September, 2018, 10:43
"I didn't want to try to overpower her because she just has more power than me", said Pliskova.
Pliskova then served out the match with a love game, sealing the victory with an ace.
Osaka also finished 2nd in the tournament in 2016.
"I've literally never felt more exhausted in my entire life, so I kind of want to say the chances of me playing in the next tournament are very low", she said. "She's a good player, but I'm just happy with my performance this time in Tokyo".
In her postgame press conference, Pliskova said she had been wary of Osaka's power and had tailored a game plan aimed at neutralizing the U.S. Open champion's unsafe forehand.
The Japanese, who beat Pliskova en route to the Indian Wells title this spring, appeared the more worn out despite her quicker passage this week.
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The US Open champion, who upset Serena Williams in the final in NY this month, overpowered her unseeded opponent with a dominant serve and will face fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova in Sunday's final.
Osaka, however, made quick work of a unsafe opponent who had knocked out top seed and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, breaking twice in a one-sided first set which she took with a blistering forehand down the line. In all, Pliskova 12 winners to 13 unforced errors, with Osaka struggling more off the ground, hitting four more winners but 26 unforced errors.
"It was important for me to play just two sets and not go to a third one". "Naomi was playing so good all tournament but I think she was a little bit exhausted today".
"I've never been in a final in Japan and the last one is always the toughest. For a while it was looking like it maybe could be under two hours, but not really". The former world No.1, who spent 419 minutes on court en route to the final, celebrated her 11th title in 21 finals.
"I'm going to do my best to win the title here". After making the last eight in Hiroshima the previous week to go with similar showings in San Jose, Mallorca and Monterrey - as well as the final in Rabat - the 25-year-old could be set for a big 2019. Wawrinka quickly broke but 29-year-old Slovak produced the deciding break in the 11th game to win the set and the match. That's normal in semi-finals - there are no easy opponents.
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