Friday 14 December 2018

Pliskova ends Osaka winning streak

Naomi Osaka's winning run came to an end as she fell to Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Photo: Koji Watanabe/Getty Images
Naomi Osaka's winning run came to an end as she fell to Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Photo: Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Naomi Osaka's winning run came to an end as she fell to Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

The newly-crowned US Open champion, who was bidding to become the first Japanese winner of the event since 1995, succumbed 6-4, 6-4 in a battle of two big servers.

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

Osaka served notice of her intentions as she started the match with a huge ace but a netted backhand in her third service game handed Pliskova the crucial break in what would prove to be the only break point of the first set.

The second set continued in the same manner with both servers on top until Pliskova pounced in game nine, breaking her opponent to love and giving her the chance to serve out for the title.

Fittingly, Pliskova wrapped up the match in the same way Osaka had started it - with an ace.

Kiki Bertens fought back from a break down in the deciding set to beat Ajla Tomljanovic and claim her third title of the year at the Korea Open in Seoul.

The Dutch second seed rallied after losing the opening two games of the decisive set, eventually winning 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-2 in two hours and 22 minutes.

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