Ukraine's Tsurenko stops Osaka to reach biggest career final in Brisbane

Osaka admits attitude problem after Tsurenko sets up Pliskova decider

The second seed, who famously defeated Serena Williams amid dramatic scenes in NY a year ago, was a heavy favourite to progress past the unseeded Ukrainian but moped her way to a 6-2, 6-4 defeat, with world No.27 Tsurenko playing the far more positive tennis.

Osaka's compatriot Kei Nishikori closed in on his first ATP title in almost three years, beating Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-2 6-2 to move into the title clash.

Of course I tried, but I felt so far away from playing good tennis.

"I don't know, maybe she raised her level so much that I was not ready for that".

She's ranked No. 5 in the world, will enter the season-opening major as a reigning Grand Slam champion, and is trying not to sulk.

The Czech posted a 7-5, 6-2 over qualifier Marie Bouzkova in the second round after edging Yulia Putinseva in her 2019 opener, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. 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 Ukranian world No. 27 had not lost a set in reaching her first top-level final and handled the nerves well when ousting favourite Naomi Osaka in the semi-finals.

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"I think today I learned. what I can do to improve the situation", she said. I felt there is no chance I can win. "It's a really nice win for me".

She said after the match that she didn't know how to cope once things started to go against her.

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.

"But (Stubbs) said, "I am absolutely sure you can win this match", which gave me some confidence and belief that I can do it and that's what I did".

Pliskova was crowned champion in the tournament's 2017 edition after her lopsided win 6-0, 6-3 over Alize Cornet of France.

Another Japanese star, though, played superb as Kei Nishikori as he demolished Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-2 in the men's semifinals.

"I'm hoping to get back on court in maybe two days", Tsurenko said last night.

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