Published: Mon, September 24, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Naomi Osaka upset by Karolina Pliskova in Toray Pan Pacific Open final

Naomi Osaka upset by Karolina Pliskova in Toray Pan Pacific Open final

United States Open champion Naomi Osaka withdrew from the Wuhan Open in China on Sunday (Sep 23), hours after losing to former world number one Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

Pliskova's win ends an incredible run by Osaka that saw her take the U.S. Open and roar through the Pan Pacific draw unscathed as the buzz over her grand slam win reverberated across the country.

The 20-year-old, who has climbed to seventh in the world rankings since her stunning victory over Serena Williams in NY, piled on the pressure in the second.

Pliskova took 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.

Pliskova needed three dramatic sets in each of her matches to reach her second final of the season.

"I didn't want to try to overpower her because she just has more power than me", said Pliskova. As I am feeling very exhausted today, maybe I wasn't doing the little things well.

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".

"I've literally never felt more exhausted in my entire life", said the 20-year-old, who plans to take some time off.

In all, the 2016 US Open runner-up struck 12 winners to 13 unforced errors, with Osaka struggling more off the ground, hitting four more winners but 26 unforced errors.

Osaka, however, made quick work of a unsafe 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.

But Pliskova slowly turned the screws and broke for 3-2 with a fizzing backhand which her opponent swished well wide.

"My serve got me out of a lot of trouble today", said Osaka. "So if there is anything I can take from this it is that I am proud of myself".

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

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

"I'm just happy that I also have a title as a married woman".

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