Pliskova rallies for second Brisbane title — WTA roundup

Heather Diaz
January 9, 2019

Reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka said her poor attitude was costly during her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Lesia Tsurenko in Saturday's (Jan 5) Brisbane International semi-finals.

The match then continued to go her way when Tsurenko rolled her ankle while down 1-0 in the third set.

But Nishikori, who had lost nine consecutive ATP finals over 52 tournaments in almost three years, broke the Russian player's serve on four consecutive points in the final game to clinch the match in just 2 hours, 6 minutes, at Pat Rafter Arena.

"I was feeling the same all the way, but I don't know what really changed at 5-4 [in the second set]", she said. She helped me just to get motivated a little bit more, to get going a little bit more.

The world No.8 has had a shadow all week in the form of former Australian doubles champion-turned commentator Rennae Stubbs, who has worked with her since August previous year.

A lot has happened for Osaka since she beat Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final and she's still coming to terms with it.

"I think I just dug deep today, and that's important".

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A rollercoaster encounter began with Tsurenko stealing an early lead on Pliskova's serve and the Ukrainian claimed a second break to love immediately after the fifth seed had got back level.

"Felt very good physically and, tennis-wise, I think it was flawless", Nishikori said. "It's a really nice win for me".

In the final, Pliskova will face Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko, who stunned No. 2 seed Naomi Osaka 6-2, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

Another Japanese star, though, played superb as Kei Nishikori as he demolished Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-2 in the men's semifinals.

In the end it was not to be for the 29-year-old.

She was set to join defending champion Angelique Kerber, world No.1 Simona Halep, sixth-ranked Sloane Stephens and Australian No.1 Ashleigh Barty on the Sydney draw. "Everything was working well today", he said. "But, yeah, I feel like today was a very valuable lesson".

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