Sunday, 18 August, 2019

Frustrated Naomi Osaka withdraws from Sydney after a poor Brisbane match

Frustrated Naomi Osaka withdraws from Sydney after a poor Brisbane match Pliskova battles back from brink for second Brisbane title
Shannon Reynolds | 08 January, 2019, 16:15

A 6-2, 6-4 loss to No. 27-ranked Lesia Tsurenko on Saturday cost second-seeded Osaka a place in the Brisbane International final and a move up to the No. 3 world ranking - which would be a record high for a player from Japan.

After the match, Osaka chose to withdraw from the super strong Sydney International where she should have been the third seed behind Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber, deciding to take a week off and reset her game before the start of the Australian Open where she is among the favorites for the title.

The victory at the Pat Rafter Arena sees her gain her second title at the event in three years.

"It's nearly like I was trying to be the good girl and not show much emotion, and I lost myself a bit", said a frustrated Gavrilova.

Pliskova had the edge over Vekic in a tight match and will go into the final as favourite.

A courtside pump-up from Australian coach Rennae Stubbs revived Pliskova, who won 13 straight points as Tsurenko went from serving for the championship to trailing in the decider in the blink of an eye.

Naomi Osaka delivered a withering assessment of her performance after she was knocked out of the Brisbane International at the semi-final stage.

"It's going to be a big lesson for me, and I'm trying to stay positive".

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"Felt very good physically and, tennis-wise, I think it was ideal", Nishikori said.

Osaka has never played the Sydney International, where she was expected to headline as she continues her preparation for Melbourne amid expectations of a strong showing after a career year.

"Physically and tennis-wise I think it was flawless".

Much of the attention fell on Osaka, though, who was at a loss to explain why she struggled for fluency against her Ukrainian opponent.

"This helpless feeling I have, I think today (Saturday) I learned what I have to do to, not fix it, but what I can do to improve the situation".

"I feel better with my serve and that I am moving well", she 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.

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