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US Open champion Osaka reaches Pan Pacific Open final

US Open champion Osaka reaches Pan Pacific Open final

Pliskova, meanwhile, was more than happy to take advantage of Osaka's sloppiness, converting both her break point opportunities and reeling off the last 11 points to secure a second WTA title of the campaign.

Pliskova was relatively comfortable against Osaka, who had been in blistering form and had yet to drop a set going into the final, and her serve constantly put the first Japanese to win a Major singles title on the back foot.

Undaunted by the partisan crowd, the 26-year-old Pliskova was willing to mix it up with the hard-hitting home favorite from the outset, riding her own powerful serve and ground strokes to victory. "Naomi was maybe a little bit exhausted, you could see that".

But Osaka was still proud she had made the Tokyo final and added: "To play the final of the US Open and then to come here, I think I did pretty well".

"Naomi was playing so good the whole tournament, the future is bright". In clinching the title, Pliskova has taken a huge step towards securing her berth at the season WTA Finals.

Former World No.1 Pliskova was on fire in the opening set dominating the rallies.




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.

Fourth seed Pliskova was pushed hard by Vekic before winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 for a spot in Sunday's final. "I knew I had to play aggressive and make her move around the court, to play with all the energy I had in me and to be positive all the time - that was the goal". 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".

Naomi Osaka, right, of Japan and Karolina Pliskova, left, of Czech Republic shake hands after Pliskova won their final match of the Pan Pacific Open women's tennis tournament in Tokyo Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. But I served really well and that got me out of a lot of trouble today.

For Pliskova, it was a first tournament victory since Stuttgart in April - and the first since wedding long-time partner Michal Hrdlicka in the summer.

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

"I think Donna was playing well and she's beaten a lot of tough players this tournament".