A 6-2, 6-4 loss to No. 27-ranked Leisa Tsurenko on Saturday cost second-seeded Osaka stead in the Brisbane International final and a move up to the No. 3 world ranking.
Brisbane Open 2019: Japan’s Naomi Osaka ranked No. 5 in the world, will enter the season-opening major as a reigning Grand Slam champion, and is trying not to grizzle. A lot has happened for Naomi Osaka since she beat Serena Williams in the US Open final last September, and she’s still coming to periods with it. Mostly, it’s the expectations. She has arrived at the semifinals or better at four of her last five tournaments but hasn’t added another title. Brisbane open 2019 live scores
A 6-2, 6-4 loss to No. 27-ranked Leisa Tsurenko on Saturday cost second-seeded Osaka stead in the Brisbane International final and a move up to the No. 3 world ranking _ which would be a record high for a contestant from Japan. “If I’m being really frank, I just feel like I had liked the worst attitude today,” the 21-year-old Osaka said. “I feel like I didn’t really know how to survive with not playing well.”
She dropped two service games in the first and went down an shortly break in the second but had opportunities to get even in the 6th game when she had 2-break points but committed a string of unforced errors and Tsurenko held for 4-2. Osaka beat the air at one point and dropped her racket to the court after missing another, before visibly questioning how she could be receiving it so wrong when her forehand skewed wide on game point.
“I was sadden 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 equipment,” Osaka said. “So I think like that was kind of my main problem today. “I feel like last year I did a lot of that, and I’m trying to change it more, and I think I have _ like toward the end of last year. Hopefully, this isn’t like a periodic thing.”
Japanese flags were still waving in the crowd at Pat Rafter Arena for the next match when No. 2-seeded Kei Nishikori beat Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-2 in 66 minutes. “Felt very good physically and, tennis-wise, I think it was great,” Nishikori said.
He’ll play either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or fourth-seeded Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final, where he’s hoping to claim his first title since Memphis in 2016.02:22
Tsurenko is 4-0 in finals and is expecting to extend that streak when she takes on the winner of the Donna Vekic-Karolina Pliskova semifinal. Tsurenko had lost both earlier encounters to Osaka, including their US Open quarterfinal. From 15-40 down in the ninth, Osaka saved 2 match points with aces, got the advantage with an audacious drop shot and then held with an ace to ensure Tsurenko had to serve out.
Tsurenko went on the attack, achieve another two match points with a volley winner and clinched it with the second of those. She has grown in confidence since her trip to the U.S. Open quarterfinals and is playing with more aggression.
“I don’t want to say that this was my greatest tennis, but it was quite a high level,” Tsurenko said. “I feel I can kind of handle every kind of pressure on the court now, even when someone like Naomi is playing really strong.”
Osaka has to deal with different expectations now.
“Before, I would just be nervous to be there in a way, and now I feel nervous because I think I should win … and I feel like people expect me to win,” she said. “So that’s like an added amount of nerves. But, I mean, I feel like I’m getting used to it.”
Osaka will continue her preparations for the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 14 in Melbourne, with power on trying to not to sulk when things are going wrong.
“In a way, this experience for me is better than winning the tournament, because, like this helpless feeling I have, I think today I learned the sort of what I … I can do to like improve the situation,” she said. “There aren’t many moments that I feel like that. But, yeah, I feel like today was a very valuable lesson.”