Pliskova beats Osaka on home soil to win Pan Pacific Open

Naomi Osaka Tokyo 2018

It was important for me to play two sets and not go three sets - also for recovery for the next tournament - and I needed a match like this.

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.

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

"Naomi was maybe a little bit exhausted, you could see that".

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.

A brutal Osaka forehand forced a break in the fifth game, before a vicious backhand return forced Giorgi to whiff a shot beyond the baseline on match point.

But Pliskova snaffled an early break in the decider and hung on to reach her first Tokyo final, a forehand rocket ending her opponent's spirited resistance. "But the future is bright for her and congrats to her for an incredible few weeks". But the 26-year-old pointed out that all bets are off when it comes to the final. Osaka was caught flat-footed and dumped it into the net.

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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.

As the strain began to show, a dejected Osaka called for coach Sascha Bajin and groaned: "I feel so stressed out!". Moments later she delivered the coup de grace with a sixth ace which Osaka barely wafted her racquet at. "But I served really well and that got me out of a lot of trouble today".

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

Osaka, however, made quick work of a risky opponent who had knocked out top seed and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, breaking twice in a one-sided first set which she took with a blistering forehand down the line.

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

"It's a bit surprising but I felt kind of calm going into the first round match and a lot of people were surprised because they thought I would be very nervous", Osaka told reporters of her stunning run of form.

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