Karolina Pliskova is the first player to win three Brisbane International titles, following her victory over eighth-seeded Madison Keys on Sunday.
Despite her left thigh, the Czech showed no signs of fatigue after an almost three-hour semi-final against Naomi Osaka in a 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory over Pat Rafter Arena.
It was the first time in the world No. 2’s career that she successfully defended a title and she became the first time to defend a Brisbane title since Serena Williams six years ago.
“I think it’s more special than winning is that I finally defend,” said Pliskova.
“It is always, I think, more difficult. But, yes, it took me a few years to do that, but I was happy with it. ”
The two-hour, seven-minute triumph follows a nearly three-hour semi-final victory over Osaka on Saturday night and comes after Brisbane titles in 2017 and 2019.
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Pliskova won a tight first set and then took an early break in the second, before Keys launched a comeback similar to the one that propelled her into the deciding position over another Czech on Saturday. Petra Kvitova.
But the second seed did not falter, leaning back on her off again and keeping her own from the baseline.
A backhand error gave Pliskova a chance to serve out the game, but Keys broke back when the game lasted more than two hours.
However, history is repeated in the next game, Keys pressing a backhand long to give the European another rest she would not give up.
“This time I do not think it was [my] perfect tournament, maybe I played a little better here and there last year, but maybe I fought more this time and just somehow [found] a way to win the matches, which is important, ”said Pliskova.
“And I just beat good top players, so there was no one really easy this time.”
Keys lamented her missed opportunities in the two-hour, 10-minute outing against an opponent she had never played before, but was full of praise for her winner.
“I think the biggest thing is I think she’s actually, she’s expecting very well,” Keys said.
“So even if you would not say that movement is her strong point, she covers the track very well, and I think it starts to make you try a little more to do it. So I was definitely impressed by that today. ”