Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Osaka storms into Tokyo final

Naomi Osaka of Japan returns a ball to Camila Giorgi of Italy Naomi Osaka of Japan returns a ball to Camila Giorgi of Italy
| 26 September, 2018, 14:40

In contrast to Osaka's comfortable win, Pliskova dropped the second set before sealing a 6-2 4-6 6-3 victory in a match that lasted more than two hours.

Naomi Osaka continued her winning streak with another comfortable victory to move into a Tokyo Open final clash against Karolina Pliskova.

In the second set, both players rode their serves early, with Osaka winning love games in the third and fifth games before Pliskova returned the favor in the sixth to tie the scores 3-3.

The 20-year-old buried her head in a towel during the changeover and things barely improved in the second set, Osaka whacking her racquet against her sneakers in anger at her wastefulness.

Ajla Tomljanovic (+9, No.53 to No.44): The Australian was another player to reach a career best mark, after a week in which she reached the Seoul final, losing to Kiki Bertens.

"I was just happy it didn't go to a third set", Pliskova said. But I served really well and that got me out of a lot of trouble today.

"She has basically every shot and she has a really good serve, so I know it will be a very hard match".


Osaka, however, made quick work of a risky 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. 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".

The newly-crowned US Open champion, who was bidding to become the first Japanese victor of the event since 1995, succumbed 6-4 6-4 in a battle of two big servers.

"It was important for me to play just two sets and not go to a third one".

Pliskova added: "I know her game".

"I've literally never felt more exhausted in my entire life", Osaka said. "I was a bit nervous because I really wanted to reach the final". "As I am feeling very exhausted today, maybe I wasn't doing the little things well". "So if there is anything I can take from this it is that I am proud of myself".

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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