BRISBANE: Karolina Pliskova used all her big-match experience as she came from a set down to overhaul Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko and win the Brisbane International today.
The unseeded Tsurenko looked headed for the biggest win of her career when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, only for Pliskova to come storming back to win 4-6,7-5, 6-2 and claim her second Brisbane title.
Pliskova, the tournament’s Czech fifth seed, started slowly and paid the penalty against Tsurenko, who was serving superbly and winning the battle from the baseline.
“I just felt somehow tired from the beginning of the day,” Pliskova said.
“I was missing my shots, just not feeling the timing perfectly. I was sleeping badly. So everything was somehow going the other way.”
Tsurenko took the first set in 38 minutes, firing 10 winners and making 81 percent of her first serves.
She took that form into the second set and broke Pliskova early.
However, serving for the match at 5-4, she tightened up and Pliskova won 13 of the next 14 points to level the match.
The third set was all Pliskova as she broke Tsurenko twice to wrap up the final in two hours, 12 minutes.
“I don’t know what really changed at 5-4,” Tsurenko said.
“I think we had the great fight until 5-4, and then suddenly, I don’t know, maybe she raised her level so much that I was not ready for that.
“It’s going to be a big lesson for me, and I’m trying to stay positive.”
The Brisbane title is the 12th of the world number eight’s career and sets Pliskova in good stead ahead of the Australian Open.
The 26-year-old has long been touted as a future winner of a Grand Slam, but despite a stint as world number one, her best result in a major was runner-up to Angelique Kerber at the 2016 US Open.
But she said her ability to win the final would help her in Melbourne.
“When you’re able to turn these matches around, it gives you some extra and different confidence,” Pliskova said.
“So it’s not about only playing well. Sometimes you just feel horrible, and it’s going to happen in Grand Slams for sure because it’s for two weeks, so you cannot play amazing for two weeks. “I think I just dug deep today, and that’s important.”
Japanese star Kei Nishikori claimed his first title since 2016 when he downed Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in the final of the Brisbane International today. The Japanese star had not won a tournament since Memphis in 2016 and was hampered by a wrist injury the following year which forced a break from the 2018 tour. He was runner-up in Brisbane in 2017 but went one better this year in a superb final. Nishikori dominated his Russian rival throughout, despite a slight hiccup when one poor service game cost him the second set. The second seed started slowly and went down 0-3 to the Russian. But he recovered to break back and then seized the advantage at 3-3 when he broke Medvedev again, taking the first set in 42 minutes. Nishikori was all over the Russian in the second set, his powerful and well-directed groundstrokes forcing Medvedev into errors. Medvedev held on against Nishikori’s multiple chances to break at 2-2 and 3-3 and took advantage of his opponent’s poor service game to break ahead. But any thought the Russian would take the momentum into the decider proved wrong as Nishikori stormed to a 5-1 lead, eventually wrapping up the final in just over two hours.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa takes oath as 26th CJP
ISLAMABAD: Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa became the 26th Chief Justice of Pakistan after taking oath of his office today (JANUARY 18).
The oath-taking ceremony was held at Aiwan-i-Sadr in Islamabad where President Arif Alvi administered oath to Justice Khosa. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan, top Supreme Court judges, senior lawyers and dignitaries.
Justice Khosa has had headed a special bench that decided over 10,000 cases of a criminal nature since 2014.
At outgoing chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar’s full court reference on Thursday, Justice Khosa introduced the agenda for his tenure:
“To attend to the causes that contribute towards delay in disposition of cases at all levels of the judicial hierarchy.”
PM Imran Khan leaves for Turkey on a two-day visit
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday left for Turkey on a two-day official visit on the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
PM will hold meetings with high-level Turkish officials including the President and discuss bilateral relations as well as regional and international situation.
Khan will also address a business forum in Ankara and hold meetings with Turkish businessmen and potential investors.
This is Prime Minister Khan’s first visit to the country after assuming office.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Planning Khusro Bakhtyar and Adviser to the Prime Minister Abdul Razak Dawood are accompanying the premier on the trip.
Foreign Minister to visit four countries
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, accompanied by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and other senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be leaving for a four-nation tour on Monday as part of the government’s policy of outreach in the neighborhood.
The foreign minister will visit Afghanistan, Iran, China, and Russia from 24-26December the Foreign Office in a press statement here Sunday said.
During the visit, Qureshi will discuss Pakistan’s bilateral relations with the senior leadership of these countries, to strengthen cooperation in various areas.
The visit is part of promoting various initiatives and ideas for regional cooperation, especially in promoting economic and people-to-people linkages.
“Implementing the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan is eager to strengthen ties with neighbors and regional partners. Such cooperation is the key to unleashing Pakistan’s considerable potential and expanding mutually beneficial economic cooperation and development,” the statement added.
Besides, detailed exchange of views on important areas of bilateral cooperation, views will also be exchanged on the fast-changing regional and international environment.
The statement said, “Recent developments concerning peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan would also be discussed during these meetings. Pakistan has always maintained that the solution to the conflict in Afghanistan lies in an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. International community’s recent consensus to adopt this as the guiding principle to resolve the 40-year old Afghan conflict vindicates Pakistan’s long-held view.”