Pliskova, Keys to fight for Brisbane title

Murray Wenzel
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BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL DAY 6

Karolina Pliskova (L) has beaten Naomi Osaka (R) in an epic semi-final at the Brisbane International

Karolina Pliskova will chase a third Brisbane International title in four years after saving a match point in a titanic semi-final victory over Naomi Osaka.

The pair served mightily in a high-quality contest, won 6-7 (10-12) 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 on Saturday night by world No.2 Pliskova.

The Czech will play Madison Keys on Sunday - their first career meeting - for a chance to add to her 2017 and 2019 triumphs.

The two hour, 51-minute battle looked all but over well before that when world No.4 and defending Australian Open champion Osaka broke for the first time for a 6-5 lead in the second set.

But, after winning an engrossing first set tiebreak, she couldn't convert a break point and tightened up to hand back the break and the set.

Osaka admitted that missed opportunity had eaten at her, while Pliskova said she felt the momentum swing from that point.

Pliskova made the most of that, controlling the deciding set as she slowly overpowered the Japanese talent.

But there was one final twist when Osaka saved two match points before Pliskova finally ended the tussle with another unreturnable serve.

The pair served 31 aces between them and had brutal baseline rallies in a contest Osaka said had the intensity of a grand slam final.

Pliskova was less complementary of the standard but said she was proud to have weathered Osaka's best.

"I was proud I stayed with her because it could go a really bad way after that first set," she said.

"There was not many things I did wrong - it was more about her (playing well)."

Earlier, in-form American Keys rallied from a set and break down to beat Petra Kvitova.

Keys won nine of 10 games in a remarkable mid-match recovery against the tournament's 2011 champion on her way to a 3-6 6-2 6-3 victory.

"I'm very happy, but I'm very tired," Keys said with a smile after her win.

"I've definitely started the year playing some really terrible tennis (previously), so it's nice to be on this side of things."

Despite losing her opening singles match in Brisbane, world No.1 Ashleigh Barty has managed valuable court time on the way to the women's doubles final.

She will partner Kiki Bertens against top seeds Barbora Strycova and Su-Wei Hsieh in Sunday's first match from midday.