Brisbane International GOAT claims third title
Karolina Pliskova's love affair with Queensland has continued, with the world No.2 winning her third Brisbane International title on Sunday at Pat Rafter Arena.
The 27-year-old Czech star became the first player to win the tournament three times when she beat gritty American eighth seed Madison Keys 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and seven minutes.
Pliskova was made to fight for the win after she was seemingly headed for a routine victory when she was up 6-4, 3-2 with a break of serve in the second set.
However, Keys refused to go down easily, breaking back immediately to level the second set at 3-3.
Watch over 50 sports LIVE on Kayo! Stream to your TV, mobile, tablet or computer. Just $25/month, cancel anytime. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
With momentum on her side, Keys pounced. Up 5-4, she again broke Pliskova's serve to win the set in 37 minutes.
The third set was a tense affair.
Pliskova gained the vital advantage when she broke Keys' serve to take a 4-3 lead.
She then had the chance to wrap up the title when serving for the match at 5-4. However, Keys broke serve to level the set at 5-5.
But Pliskova wasn't to be denied back-to-back Brisbane titles and a third in four years.
She again broke Keys' serve before holding her nerve to win her next service game to love and clinch the decisive set in 51 minutes.
It was the first time the pair had ever played each other, but Pliskova said she had benefited from watching Keys in action, and recorded 15 fewer unforced errors than Keys.
"We never played before but I have seen her play many times," she said. "She played great tennis today and I am sure she will have many more titles in the future.
"It is always good to win the first tournament of the year and now I have done that here three times. I love coming here and I look forward to coming back next year."