Pliskova snaps Osaka streak for title — WTA roundup

Marcus Newton
September 26, 2018

"My serve is my biggest weapon and it was key today", added Pliskova after scooping an 11th career title.

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

Vekic, though, had defeated top 10 players Sloane Stephens and Caroline Garcia en route to the last four and recovered from an early break in the second set to secure two of her own.

The fourth seed took just 63 minutes to complete a clinical 6-4, 6-4 victory over the newly crowned US Open champion in Tokyo, bringing Osaka's 10-match winning streak to a shuddering halt.

Playing in her first tournament since upsetting Serena Williams to win the U.S. Open on September 8, third-seeded Osaka hadn't dropped a set previous to Sunday's final but was frustrated from the outset by the big-serving Czech player. "Naomi was maybe a little bit exhausted, you could see that, but the future is bright for her and congrats to her for an incredible few weeks".

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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The players had split their previous two meetings, but Osaka started the final as favorite after her NY triumph. She served well against Vekic, making 78% of her first serves, winning 71% of those points, and will need to find similar numbers against Osaka who she can not match off the ground.

However, Pliskova slowly turned the screws and broke for 3-2 with a fizzing backhand that her opponent swished well wide. "I knew I had to play aggressive and make her move around the court, to play with all the energy I had in me and to be positive all the time - that was the goal".

The Wuhan Open, which began yesterday and ends on Saturday, boasts a strong field despite Osaka's withdrawal, with the top five women's players, including world No. 1 Simona Halep, all taking part.

For Pliskova, it was a first tournament victory since Stuttgart in April - and the first since marrying long-time partner Michal Hrdlicka in the summer.

"It was another long one today!" "It's the last match also, so I just want to put in everything, what I have left in body".

"I have literally never been so exhausted in my entire life", she told reporters. "The chances of me playing in the next tournament are very low".

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