Osaka admits attitude problem after Tsurenko sets up Pliskova decider

Lynette Rowe
January 8, 2019

Kei Nishikori won his first ATP title since Memphis in 2016 with a dominating final set to beat Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in the Brisbane International final on Sunday.

Karolina Pliskova was seemingly dead and buried in the Brisbane International final, until her Aussie coach sparked her into action. "I felt so far away from playing good tennis tonight", Pliskova, who needed a pep talk from coach Rennae Stubbs to regain composure, said.

Naomi Osaka bows to Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko in the semifinal.

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

Osaka went into the match as firm favorite but looked flat from the outset as Tsurenko raced through the match in just 65 minutes.

But she said her ability to win the final would help her in Melbourne.

Tsurenko held sway in the first hour of the contest on Pat Rafter Arena, skipping clear in both sets after the 2017 champion had worked her way back from an early break.

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The Canadian qualifier had already seen off top seed Caroline Wozniacki and seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams this week, and she added third seed Hsieh Su-wei to her victims list.

Osaka will continue her preparations for the Australian Open, which starts January 14 in Melbourne, with an emphasis on trying to not to sulk when things are going wrong.

After the match, Osaka made a decision 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.

Andreescu clinched a comfortable 6-3 6-3 victory over her Taiwanese opponent to book a final date against second seed Julia Gorges, with the German overcoming Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova 6-1 7-6 (8/6). "So I think like that was sort of my main problem today".

Nishikori served only two aces compared with the 11 sent down by Chardy, but he returned superbly and pressured the Frenchman's serve throughout, breaking him twice in each set.

Nishikori also moved around the court well, his speed not noticeably affected by the injuries that hampered him previous year. "Everything was working well today", he said.

"I was missing my shots, just not feeling the timing perfectly".

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