Kei Nishikori, Karolina Pliskova win Brisbane International titles

Kei Nishikori is through to the Brisbane final against Daniil Medvedev

Kei Nishikori is through to the Brisbane final against Daniil Medvedev

The 22-year-old took in-form Kei Nishikori to a three-set final in the Brisbane International on Sunday night, falling 6-4 3-6 6-2 to the World No.9. I felt like I was too fast on the court today.

And he showed all the qualities of a top-five player in his 66-minute demolition at Pat Rafter Arena.

And that seemed to be borne out by the early exchanges, as Medvedev raced into an easy three-love lead in the first set, breaking the Nishikori serve at the first time of asking.

Kei Nishikori of Japan reacts after missing a shot during his finals match against Daniil Medvedev of Russian Federation at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.

Momentum seemed to have swung away from Nishikori, who survived a scare to hold serve at the start of the third, but the Japanese reeled off four games in a row to move 5-1 ahead.

Donna Vekic defeated 2018 finalist Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-0 to reach the women's semifinals and will next play fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova, who beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 1-6, 6-1. He served out the set to level the match, 6-3.

"I think we need him on tour".

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"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".

By and large, the final was an extension of the rock-solid tennis he produced all week as he won 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 and was for once the man making the winner's speech, not politely applauding as the gallant loser.

"It was hurting a little bit, but I said, "just fight till the end".

"It's going to be a big lesson for me, and I'm trying to stay positive". "Hopefully this isn't like a recurring thing".

Osaka, who withdrew from next week's Sydney International, said Saturday's experience was better than winning in Brisbane as she gears up for the Australian Open later this month.

"I had so many chances and I thought I could win in two sets".

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