Friday, 19 October, 2018

Naomi Osaka upset by Karolina Pliskova in Toray Pan Pacific Open final

Naomi Osaka plays a forehand against Camila Giorgi in Tokyo Saturday Naomi Osaka plays a forehand against Camila Giorgi in Tokyo Saturday
Sergio Cook | 26 September, 2018, 14:40

Naomi Osaka's dominant run came to end on Sunday in a 6-4, 6-4 loss to fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Pan Pacific Open.

She served well against Vekic, making 78% of her first serves, winning 71% of those points, and will need to find similar numbers against Osaka who she can not match off the ground.

Karolina Pliskova (+1, No.8 to No.7): The 26-year-old made the highest rise this week, swapping places with Naomi Osaka after beating the US Open champion in the Tokyo final.

The 20-year-old local favorite was barely tested in her first three matches of the tournament but faced a much sterner challenge against Pliskova. She was playing really well and I felt like I was just trying to survive.

"My serve is my biggest weapon and it was key today", added Pliskova after scooping an 11th career title. "She was missing quite a lot today and it was working, so I didn't change anything". "I feel like I'm improving in every match, but the opponents are always more tough".

At the 2016 US Open, unseeded players Caroline Wozniacki and Naomi Osaka both put on noteworthy performances: Wozniacki, whose year had been hampered by injuries that caused her ranking to plummet, left NY back in the top 30 after a run to the semifinals.

"I didn't want to try to overpower her because I think she just has more power than me, so I just wanted to be patient and just to wait for my chances, waiting for my shots", Pliskova said. "Stan is one of the best players in the world and I'm really proud of myself after I could beat him finally".

In WTA tournaments elsewhere, Kiki Bertens defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 (7/2), 4-6, 6-2 in the final of the Korea Open in Seoul.

"I've literally never felt more exhausted in my entire life", she told reporters.

Wuhan Open organisers said on Twitter that Osaka had withdrawn due to a viral illness. "Naomi was maybe a little bit exhausted, you could see that, but the future is bright for her and congrats to her for an incredible few weeks".

The usually aggressive Pliskova said she had adjusted her game plan based on her previous two meetings with world number seven Osaka, which the pair had split.

Currently just outside the eight qualifying spots for next month's WTA Finals in Singapore, Pliskova has now spent 420 minutes on court in Tokyo compared to 222 minutes for Osaka.

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