Pliskova upsets Osaka in final to take Pan Pacific crown

Virginia Santiago
September 26, 2018

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.

The third seed's aggressive play and especially her serve, with nine aces, dropping just eight points in her eight service games, were behind her impressive victory. Osaka reaches the finals of the Pan Pacific Open and now looks forward to seizing the title in front of her home crowd.

The Wuhan Open, which began on Sunday and ends on September 29, still boasts a strong field despite Osaka's withdrawal, with the top five women's players, including world number one Simona Halep, all taking part.

But Pliskova snaffled an early break in the decider and hung on to reach her first Tokyo final, a forehand rocket ending her opponent's spirited resistance.

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"It was another long one today", Pliskova said after the match.

"My serve got me out of a lot of trouble today", said Osaka.

During the final in Tokyo, the strain was beginning to show on a dejected Osaka when she called for coach Sascha Bajin and groaned: "I feel so stressed out!".

"The chances of me playing in the next tournament are very low", she added, only to pull out hours later. Making fifth appearance at Tokyo, where she was through to the final for the first time, she battled back from 1-4 down in the final set against Gavrilova and came from a break down twice in the final set and saved two match points to defeat qualifier Riske in the quarter-finals.

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Pliskova soon set her foot after unleashing another brutal drive as Osaka made flat-fault into the net. Pliskova said after her victory.

"It was important for me to play just two sets and not go to a third one". "I haven't really had much time to rest, so I feel exhausted right now". I have my weapons, she also has hers. That's normal in semifinals - there's no easy opponents."I think Donna was playing well and she's beaten a lot of tough players this tournament". She is then scheduled to play in the Hong Kong tournament at Victoria Park, starting on October 6.

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.

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