Pliskova upsets Osaka to win Tokyo final

Tennis- Pan Pacific Open Women's Singles Semifinal match

Tennis - Pan Pacific Open Women's Singles Semifinal match - Arena Tachikawa Tachihi, Tokyo, Japan - September 22, 2018.

Osaka hadn't dropped a set since her fourth round encounter with Aryna Sabalenka in Flushing Meadows, and won her first eight points on serve before showing signs of nerves, confessing to coach Sascha Bajin that she felt like she was in the midst of a "mid-life crisis" after falling behind a set.

After saving two match points against American qualifier Alison Riske in the last round, and coming back from a set down against Daria Gavrilova earlier in the tournament, Pliskova had to go the distance once again, needing 2 hours and 5 minutes.

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.

"I know that she's a great player", Osaka said of Pliskova. But the 26-year-old pointed out that all bets are off when it comes to the final.

Karolina Pliskova has accomplished what 10 others have tried and failed to do over the past month: beat Naomi Osaka.

"Also confidence gets higher and higher with every match that you win and I won a lot of tough matches here, a lot of tough sets against tough opponents, so I'm proud of this".

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The US Open champion, who upset Serena Williams in the final in NY this month, overpowered her unseeded opponent with a dominant serve and will face fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova in Sunday's final.

"I didn't want to try to overpower her because I think she just has more power than me". Afterwards, she revealed to reporters that she "felt really exhausted today", and that she "wasn't doing the little things well". "She was missing quite a lot today so it was working, so I didn't change anything".

Karolina Pliskova, right, of Czech Republic, holds her champion trophy and Naomi Osaka, left, of Japan holds her runner-up trophy during the award ceremony of the Pan Pacific Open women's tennis tournament in Tokyo Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018.

"I've literally never felt more exhausted in my entire life", she told reporters, confessing that she needed some time off. "I was a bit nervous because I really wanted to reach the final".

Pliskova added: "I know her game. As I am feeling very exhausted today, maybe I wasn't doing the little things well".

A runner up at this event two years ago, Osaka has not dropped a set so far this week and has had her service broken just once.

"To play the final of the U.S. Open and then to come here, I think I did pretty well", Osaka said.

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