Pliskova up­sets Osaka to win Tokyo fi­nal

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

KAROLINA PLISKOVA stunned home favourite and US Open cham­pion Naomi Osaka 6-4 6-4 to win the Pan Pa­cific Open ti­tle in Tokyo yes­ter­day.

Osaka, supremely con­fi­dent and in top form com­ing into the fi­nal off the back of 10 con­sec­u­tive wins, looked anx­ious through­out the con­test and al­lowed Pliskova to win eas­ily in just over an hour.

The Czech for­mer world No 1 came into the con­test hav­ing spent 419 min­utes on court this week, more than any other player de­spite a first round bye and al­most twice as long as Osaka.

It was the Ja­panese player who ap­peared the more fa­tigued, how­ever, and Osaka, who had not dropped a set dur­ing the tour­na­ment, hit a series of un­forced er­rors and showed none of the poise and power that se­cured her a first Grand Slam ti­tle.

Pliskova was more than happy to take ad­van­tage, cap­i­tal­is­ing both times when pre­sented with a break point and win­ning the last 11 points to se­cure her sec­ond WTA ti­tle of the cam­paign.

Osaka has now lost in the fi­nal of this tour­na­ment twice, hav­ing also been run­ner-up in 2016.

In clinch­ing the ti­tle, Pliskova has taken a huge step to­wards se­cur­ing her berth at the sea­son WTA Fi­nals.

Pliskova is ninth in the race, with the top eight play­ers qual­i­fy­ing for Sin­ga­pore. Kiki Bertens, cur­rently in eighth place, com­petes in the fi­nal of the Korea Open later yes­ter­day. — Su­perS­port

Karolina Pliskova and Naomi Osaka (left)

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