Pliskova beats Osaka on home soil to win Pan Pacific Open

Ruben Hill
September 24, 2018

Tennis - Pan Pacific Open Women's Singles Semifinal match - Arena Tachikawa Tachihi, Tokyo, Japan - September 22, 2018.

Osaka could not recover after being broken by the world number eight in the fifth game of the first set and, as the strain began to show, she called for coach Sascha Bajin and groaned: "I feel so stressed out".

Meanwhile, the fourth-seeded Pliskova needed just 63 minutes to complete a clinical victory.

Prior to the final, Pliskova had spent 419 minutes on court, more than any other player and nearly twice as long as Osaka, but the Japanese player soon wilted and was unable to match the brilliance that secured her a first Grand Slam title.

Pliskova broke Osaka for a second time to go up 5-4 and then hammered her sixth ace to secure her 11th career title.

"I was pretty nervous because I really wanted to get to the final", said 2016 runner-up Osaka, who fired down nine aces in a dominant display.

"I've literally never felt more exhausted in my entire life, " Osaka said. She finished with 26 unforced errors and admitted to being exhausted after the match. Afterwards, she revealed to reporters that she "felt really exhausted today", and that she "wasn't doing the little things well". "She was missing quite a lot today so it was working, so I didn't change anything". The 20-year-old tossed her racket to the ground before collecting her composure, but it was too late.

"I have literally never been so exhausted in my entire life", she told reporters.

When asked to explain her lacklustre performance, Osaka replied: "If I know I would have fixed it". "Naomi was maybe a little bit exhausted, you could see that".

Pliskova has spent more time on court than any other player at this tournament despite a first round bye and was once again dragged into a long contest by a dogged Vekic. "So if there is anything I can take from this it is that I am proud of myself".

The No.4 seed's strong result to start the Asian swing puts her in good position to make a third straight appearance at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global; ranked No.9 on the Race to Singapore leaderboard to start the week, Pliskova will move back into the Top 8 at No.7 on Monday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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