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By Tennis Now | Saturday, September 21, 2019

Naomi Osaka

Top-seeded Naomi Osaka swept Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-1 powering into the Toray Pan Pacific Open final for the third time where she will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Photo credit: Toray Pan Pacific Open Facebook

Naomi Osaka continues a committed homecoming celebration in Osaka.

The top-seeded Japanese swept US Open doubles champion Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-1 powering into the Toray Pan Pacific Open final for the third time.

More: Kenin Claims Third Title

Slashing six aces, Osaka did not face a break point and breezed through eight of the last nine games in the one-hour victory.

Osaka was runner-up to Caroline Wozniacki in 2016 and to Karolina Pliskova in last year's final when the event was staged in Tokyo.

The two-time Grand Slam champion scored a pair of straight-sets wins today advancing to her first final since she defeated Petra Kvitova to win the Australian Open in January.

Earlier, Osaka topped Yulia Putintseva, 6-4, 6-4, avenging a 7-6(4), 6-2 Wimbledon first-round loss to the feisty baseliner.

Playing for her fourth career title, the 21-year-old Osaka will meet Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the final.

The 28-year-old Moscow power player also scored two victories charging into her first final of the season.

Pavlyuchenkova pounded out a 6-3, 6-3, semifinal win over former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, reaching the final for the second time in the last three years. Pavlyuchenkova was the Toray Pan Pacific Open runner-up to Wozniacki in 2017.

The Russian rolled through the final four games of the opening set and broke serve six times in the match.

Pavlyuchenkova opened play dismissing Misaki Doi, 6-2, 6-2, in a quarterfinal that began on Friday before rain washed out play. 

The 41st-ranked Pavlyuchenkova is bidding for her 13th career title. She won her lone prior meeting with Osaka, 6-3, 6-3 in the 2017 Hong Kong quarterfinals.


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