January 12, 2020 / 7:06 AM / 13 days ago

Tennis-Pliskova outlasts Keys for third Brisbane title

MELBOURNE, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Defending champion Karolina Pliskova prevailed in a three-set tug-of-war with Madison Keys to become the first three-time winner at the Brisbane International on Sunday.

A day after clinching a near three-hour semi-finals duel with Naomi Osaka, the world number two overcame a mid-match blip to triumph 6-4 4-6 7-5 in the final at the Pat Rafter Arena.

Pliskova rode her big first serve to save two break points in the first set and converted on her first opportunity to surge ahead.

A set and break down, Keys broke back to level it 3-3 and went on to win the set and force a decider, in which the first six games stayed on serve before Pliskova broke the American in the seventh.

Keys refused to throw in the towel, however, and foiled the Czech’s first attempt to serve out the match at 5-4.

Pliskova could not be denied though.

The 2017 and 2019 winner broke again for 6-5 and then served it out to clinch victory in her first meeting with the eighth seeded American in a little over two hours. (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Richard Pullin)

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