Osaka wins tenth straight match to power into Tokyo final

Jo Caldwell
September 26, 2018

Pliskova, the world No. 8, said she had adjusted her tactics based on her previous two meetings with Osaka.

Before the final, Pliskova, 26, had spent 419 minutes on court, more than any other player and nearly twice as long as Osaka, but the Japanese world No. 7 soon wilted.

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.

"I'm just happy it didn't go to three sets", said the Czech, who had been taken the distance in her previous three matches. "She was playing really well and my serve helped me".

Osaka, who has not dropped a set this week, will now face world number eight Karolina Pliskova in Sunday's final after she beat Donna Vekic.

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Osaka's victory in front of an expectant home crowd was her 10th in a row and did not look in doubt from the moment the world number seven pounded down a huge ace with her first serve of the match.

Two years ago, Osaka lost in the final to Caroline Wozniacki, this year's top-seeded player who was eliminated by Giorgi on Thursday.

Reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka of Japan withdrew from the Wuhan Open on Sunday due to a viral illness. She finished with 26 unforced errors and admitted to being exhausted after the match.

The U.S. Open champion, who upset Serena Williams in the final in NY, overpowered her unseeded opponent and will face fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova in Sunday's final.

"I've never felt more exhausted in my entire life", she said, admitting that a much-needed rest was in order.

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"So if there is anything I can take from this it is that I am proud of myself".

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

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. To be holding this trophy feels special.

The unseeded Tomljanovic, 25, is still looking for her first career title.

Bertens started the week eighth in the WTA Finals standings but was overtaken by Pliskova, who won the higher-level Premier event in Tokyo earlier and moved up a place from ninth spot. Top eight qualify for WTA Finals in Singapore. I have my weapons, she also has hers.

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