Pliskova beats Osaka on home soil to win Pan Pacific Open

26 September, 2018, 10:36 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka of Japan returns a ball to Camila Giorgi of Italy.

Third-seeded Naomi Osaka will face fourth seed Karolina Pliskova in Sunday's final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open after both won their semi-final matches on Saturday in Tokyo.

"I just wanted to be patient and wait for my chances".

Osaka had earlier said she "felt really exhausted today" during her loss to Pliskova.

US Open champion Naomi Osaka withdrew from the Wuhan Open in China on Sunday because of viral illness.

The Wuhan Open's co-director said Osaka is to be replaced by Polona Hercog of Slovenia, who lost in the qualifying to Puerto Rico's Monica Puig.

It was the second time Osaka came up short in the tournament. The Japanese, who played the first of her four finals here in 2016, could have become the youngest champion here since 2010.

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"Also confidence gets higher and higher with every match that you win and I won a lot of tough matches here, a lot of tough sets against tough opponents, so I'm proud of this". The quarterfinalist at the US Open, Pliskova has reached the finals with a three-set victory in all her matches in Tokyo. She broke Vekic twice early on to lead 4-0 and went on to win the set 6-2.

Pliskova has had tough matches all week, having saved two match points against American qualifier Alison Riske in the last round, then fighting back from a set down to get past Daria Gavrilova, earlier in the tournament. "I needed a match like this", the 26-year-old world number eight told reporters.

A tearful Osaka said at the prize presentation in Tokyo that she needed a break after her exploits in becoming the first Japanese to win a grand slam title at the US Open in NY earlier this month started to take its toll.

"Today was the first match that I felt nervous". I was expecting a tough one.

"I didn't want to try to overpower her because I think she just has more power than me". She is then scheduled to play in the Hong Kong tournament at Victoria Park, starting on October 6.

"She has basically every shot and she has a really good serve, so I know it will be a very hard match". "For a while it was looking like it maybe could be under two hours, but not really".

In Sunday's final, Klizan will face the victor of the semi-final between top-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem and fifth-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

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