Osaka Beats Pliskova to set up Australian Open Final Clash With Kvitova

By Admin

Naomi Osaka on Thursday defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-2 4-6 6-4 to set up a title clash with double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

Osaka, who will be making first appearance at this stage of the first Grand Slam of the year,  spoke to reuters after the epic clash.

“I like the heat so I was kind of sad about that… No, but like, they have the roof open and I was like, ‘oh, it’s my time to shine’,” Osaka said in an on-court interview.

“I mean I kind of expected (the comeback) a little… I was expecting a really hard battle,” said the Japanese, who had won once in their three previous meeting before Thursday.

“I just told myself to regroup in the third set and try as hard as I can.”

Pliskova, who had stunned Serena Williams in the quarter-finals, failed to live up to her reputation as a big server but showed lot of pluck to level the match with a second break at 5-4 after the players had an early trade of breaks.

Osaka converted her only breakpoint opportunity in the decider while her opponent wasted four and the 21-year-old made it to her second straight Grand Slam final with her 15th ace to seal the match in an hour and 53 minutes.

Osaka will meet another Czech in Kvitova, who will compete in her first Grand Slam final in five years after defeating unseeded American Danielle Collins 7-6(2) 6-0 in the first semi-final.