Shock loss for US Open champ in Brisbane

 os.nine.com.au  01/05/2019 13:13:47   WWOS staff

Medvedev ousts Tsonga

Daniil Medvedev will play Kei Nishikori in the Brisbane International final after the Russian's clever serving proved too much for tiring Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The 22-year-old lost just 10 points on serve all match - at one stage winning 17 straight points on his delivery - in a 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 win on Saturday.

But the world No.16 almost let the first set slip as Tsonga twice rallied from 0-40 down to hold serve and then shoot to a 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker.

That became 6-4 before Medvedev won the next four points to claim the set.

Tsonga, on the comeback from knee surgery that saw him miss seven months of last year's tour, couldn't touch the Russian in the second set as the match wrapped up in 84 minutes.

Medvedev ousts Tsonga (AAP)

Pliskova Breezes past Vekic

Karolina Pliskova as booked her spot in the Brisbane International final after dispatching Donna Vekic 6-3 6-4.

Plisikova got off to a flying start and never looked back as Vekic struggled to find an answer for the lofty Czech's back court dominance.

A minor hiccup saw her squander two match points before swiftly recovering to book her second Brisbane International finals appearance in as many years.

"I think so far that was my best match," she said at centre court following the match.

"I'm just happy that I'm through, it got a bit tricky in the end, I had two missed match points and almost didn't make it but I'm glad i got there in the end."

She will come up against Lesia Tsurenko who caused a major upset earlier in the day after she defeated crowd favourite, and second seed, Naomi Osaka 6-2, 6-4.

Pliskova breezes past Vekic

Nishikori through to Brisbane final

Kei Nishikori's strong pre-Australian Open form has continued, the Japanese star demolishing world No.40 Jeremy Chardy to reach the Brisbane International final.

The world No.9 won 6-2 6-2 on Pat Rafter Arena to set up a decider against Daniil Medvedev or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as he bids for his first title in almost three years.

Second seed Nishikori complemented his accurate serve by pouncing on the misfiring Frenchman, who took just a third of points on his second serve.

Chardy's high unforced error count (26-8) was also punished as Nishikori, who beat former world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals, won through in 66 minutes.

The sets played out similarly, reaching 2-2 before 2017 finalist Nishikori broke twice in each.

Nishikori will vie for his first title since the Memphis Open in February 2016 on Sunday and will likely head in as favourite against 16th-ranked Medvedev or French veteran Tsonga.

He impressed with a 7-5 7-5 defeat of Dimitrov, his conqueror in Brisbane two years ago, to book his place in the final four.

Nishikori through to Brisbane final

Osaka's stunning admission after semi-final loss

US Open champion Naomi Osaka has admitted to “sulking” during her semi-final loss to world No.27 Lesia Tsurenko at the Brisbane International.

Tsurenko dominated the match, closing it out in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.

“If I'm being really frank, I just feel like I had like the worst attitude today," Osaka said.

LIVE MATCH CENTRE: Brisbane International

“I feel like I didn't really know how to cope with not playing well.

“I was sulking a little bit and like there are moments that I tried not to do that.

“But then the ball wouldn't go in and then I would go back to being like childish and stuff.

“So I think like that was sort of my main problem today.”

Osaka admitted that it’s not the ideal preparation with the Australian Open just over a week away, but insists there’s plenty to be learned from the loss.

“I feel like in a way that this experience for me is better than winning the tournament,” she said.

“This helpless feeling I have, I think today I learned sort of what I have to do to not fix it, but what I can do to like improve the situation.

“I feel like today was a very valuable lesson.”

Tsurenko upsets Osaka in Brisbane

Tsurenko stuns Osaka in Brisbane semi-final

Lesia Tsurenko has caused a major boilover at the Brisbane International, defeating second seed Naomi Osaka 6-2, 6-4 in the semi-final.

Six years after making the semi-finals of the Brisbane Tsurenko has now gone one better, as she aims for the fifth WTA title of her career.

“I was a little bit nervous at the beginning and the end, but I’m really happy with my performance,” Tsurenko said.

“It’s a really, really nice win for me.”

Tsurenko needed just 65 minutes to account for Osaka, who was visibly frustrated as the unforced errors piled up.

“The key was to stay aggressive and serve well. I knew that each time I made a mistake on my serve she would just kill it,” Tsurenko said.

“I’m happy that I was so aggressive today.”

Tsurenko is riding a wave of confidence that saw her reach the quarter-finals of the US Open in September, which included a victory over second seed Caroline Wozniacki.

“When you enjoy playing you find even the tough moments of the match are exciting, and it’s fun to play.

Tsurenko takes the first set against Osaka

There’s an upset brewing on Pat Rafter arena with Lesia Tsurenko taking the first set 6-2 in her semi-final against US Open champion Naomi Osaka.

Despite starting as the red-hot favourite, Osaka couldn’t find any rhythm in the opening set, with the Japanese star only able to put her first serve in play 45% of the time.

Osaka also threw in 13 unforced errors in the set, more than double the number of Tsurenko.

It’s a far cry from the previous two meetings between the two players, with Osaka recording comfortable victories on both occasions.

The pair met in the quarter-finals of the US Open in September with Osaka rarely troubled in recording a 6-1, 6-1 win.

Semi-final day in Brisbane

It's semi final time at the Brisbane International with final four clashes in the men's and women's scheduled for the day and night sessions on Pat Rafter Arena.

Naomi Osaka will take on Lesia Tsurenko in the first match on centre court in the day session.

Osaka overcame a slow start to defeat Latvian Anastasia Sevastova 3-6 6-0 6-4 to advance to the semi-finals, while the Ukrainian came back from a 3-5 deficit and saved two set points in the opening set to beat Anett Kontaveit 7-5 6-3.

Tsurenko has lost both previous encounters to Osaka but remains confident.

“Some of the wins last year gave me the confidence that I can beat top players and now I feel more and more confident and for sure I’ll keep this mindset for the Australian Open,” she said.

In the men's day semi-final Kei Nishikori will take on Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, while Dylan Alcott also takes the court later in the wheelchair tennis.

(aap)

The night session will toss up some exciting clashes when Jo Wilfried-Tsonga takes on Daniil Medvedev in the men's while Karolina Pliskova takes on rising Croatian Vekic.

The 2008 Australian Open finalist had knee surgery last year, but the 33-year-old piloted his big frame expertly around Pat Rafter Arena in a 6-4 7-6 (7-2) win on Friday night.

Brisbane International broadcast schedule

DAY SESSION

Starts 11.00am local time in Brisbane (12.00pm AEDT)

L. Tsurenko (UKR) vs N. Osaka (JPN)

J. Chardy (FRA) vs K. Nishikori (JPN)

NIGHT SESSION

Starts 7.00pm local time in Brisbane (8.00pm AEDT)

D. Vekic (CRO) vs K. Pliskova (CZE)

J. Tsonga (FRA) vs D. Medvedev (RUS)

SYD & MELB BRISBANE ADELAIDE PERTH

12:00-18:00 9GEM 11:00-17:00 Nine 11:30-17:30 9GEM 09:00-15:00 9GEM

1900-23:30 9GO! 18:00-22:30 9GO! 18:30-23:00 9GO! 16:00-20:30 9GO!

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