Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Osaka admits attitude problem after Tsurenko sets up Pliskova decider

Osaka admits attitude problem after Tsurenko sets up Pliskova decider

With AP Photos.U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka missed a chance to reach the Brisbane International final and move up to the No. 3 ranking after a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Lesia Tsurenko.

Pliskova also paid tribute to her opponent, world number 27 Tsurenko, who came so close to victory.

Pliskova, of the Czech Republic, credited a similar match in the first round with giving her the confidence to rally.

"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 held her own serve to go up 6-5 and broke Tsurenko's serve up 40-15 to win the second set and tie the match up at one set apiece, as the Ukrainian hit a forehand long.

The number seven ranked player won the WTA Brisbane title, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in a clash where both ladies struggled at times to hold their own serve, with a total of 10 break points won combined.

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

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Any hopes of Osaka repeating her quarter-final performance when she fought back from a set down against eighth-seeded Latvian Anastasija Sevastova were snuffed out in the next game.

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.

Fifth seed Pliskova will be a strong favourite to regain the title she won in 2017 after dispatching Donna Vekic 6-3 6-4.

Japanese flags were still waving in the crowd at Pat Rafter Arena for the next match, when No. 2-seeded Kei Nishikori defeated Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-2 in 66 minutes. "So I think that was sort of my main problem today".

"I don't want to say that this was my best tennis, but it was quite a high level", Tsurenko said. "I felt I was getting better with the time".

"I'm sure I will be nervous, but it makes it even more exciting". "I felt like I was too fast on the court today (Saturday)..."

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