Published: Sun, January 12, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Pliskova outlasts Keys for third Brisbane title

Pliskova outlasts Keys for third Brisbane title

The world No.4 held match point on serve against defending Brisbane International champion Karolina Pliskova on Saturday night in what had been an elite display of serving and baseline hitting.

Second seed Pliskova overcame a hard opening set to beat American Alison Riske 7-6 (6) 6-3 in one hour and 55 minutes.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic is congratulated by Naomi Osaka of Japan after Pliskova won her semi-final match 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane on Saturday.

The 2017 and 2019 victor broke again for 6-5 and then served it out to clinch victory in her first meeting with the eighth seeded American in a little over two hours.

Osaka said the quality of the contest reminded her of a grand slam final, but couldn't shake that sinking feeling as she prepares to fly straight to Melbourne.

It went from 0:30 to 40:30, but Pliskova collected, saved the match point and ended Osaka to tie the set. "I think I did a great job of staying after a hard first and second set".

Eighth seeded Keys came from a set and a break down against 2011 champion Petra Kvitova to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the duel between two of the WTA's biggest hitters in the first semi-final.

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"I'm very happy. I'm very exhausted", the American said after her fourth win in seven meetings with Kvitova.

"It's always great to start the year playing great tennis".

Bertens was on the attack in the second but lost control in the decider when she began to struggle with her first serve.

"I'm very happy, but I'm very exhausted", Keys said with a smile after her win.

Despite losing her opening singles match in Brisbane, world No.1 Ashleigh Barty has managed valuable court time on the way to the women's doubles final.

She will partner Kiki Bertens against top seeds Barbora Strycova and Su-Wei Hsieh in Sunday's first match from midday.

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