Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Efficient Pliskova proves too strong for 'tired' Osaka

Efficient Pliskova proves too strong for 'tired' Osaka

Third-seed Osaka, 20, said after the match that she "felt really exhausted today" and that she "wasn't doing the little things well", after having not dropped a set in tournament until Sunday.

Osaka's victory in front of an expectant home crowd was her 10th in a row and did not look in doubt from the moment the world number seven pounded down a huge ace with her first serve of the match.

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

Just after winning the US Open, where she pulled off a major upset by beating Serena Williams 6-2 6-4 under controversial circumstances. "Naomi was maybe a little bit exhausted, you could see that".

Osaka started well with a pair of aces to win the opening game but Pliskova won her first break point of the match and took a 3-2 lead. "I needed a match like this", the 26-year-old world number eight told reporters.

The 20-year-old, who became Japan's first Grand Slam singles champion in NY two weeks ago, hit a further eight aces to overwhelm world number 37 Giorgi.

It ended Osaka's 10-match winning streak and handed Pliskova - now ranked eighth, one place below Osaka - the 11th major tour title of her career. 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".


Former world number one Pliskova beat Croatia's Donna Vekic 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 but took well over two hours to get the job done.

The strong run of form continued for Osaka and Wozniacki at their next tournament, the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. "I was getting exhausted from the match, so it was not as fast as I wanted to serve".

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. "It's the last match also, so I just want to put in everything, what I have left in body".

With her second title at the tournament, Wozniacki became the fifth player in the 2000s to win the event a few times.

"I've literally never felt more exhausted in my entire life, so I kind of want to say the chances of me playing in the next tournament are very low", she said.

The 20-year-old local favorite was barely tested in her first three matches of the tournament but faced a much sterner challenge against Pliskova.

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