Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova have record

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Second seed Naomi Osaka won her second WTA Tour title of the year, beating Sloane Stephens 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to win the Acura Classic in Los Angeles on Sunday. The Japanese star picked up a $2.45 million purse for her win over the U.S. Open finalist.

Osaka, 19, is the youngest player to win two WTA Tour titles since Dinara Safina in 2003. “I just really wanted to win this tournament because this tournament has special meaning to me,” Osaka said. “When I lost in the final last year, I was like, ‘I’m never going to be back here again.’ It means the world to me.”

Osaka showed plenty of emotion as the match went on but was able to compose herself when the pressure was on. The win is Osaka’s third of her rookie WTA Tour season and came after she dropped her first four finals.

Sloane Stephens, who won her first Grand Slam at the U.S. Open, fought hard throughout the match and just could not find her way past her opponent. Stephens dominated much of the first set, but was unable to maintain her momentum in the second as Osaka came roaring back.

Osaka held two match points at 5-4 before Stephens forced Osaka to serve out the match. Stephens held her serve to force a third set, but Osaka broke her in the third game to pull ahead and never looked back.

U.S. Open champion Karolina Pliskova added to her record of defeats as she lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to Ekaterina Makarova in the Acura Classic final. Makarova has now won five straight matches after having last played in October of 2016.

“It’s always great to win one tournament and it’s even better when you win it in front of your home crowd,” Makarova said. “I’m very happy because I got to play in front of my best friends and family. I didn’t have many chances to play before.”

Makarova advanced to the finals after she came back from a set down to beat Pliskova in a three-set match in the semifinals. In the finals, Pliskova jumped out to a quick lead and appeared to be well on her way to a win, but Makarova has shown that it doesn’t take long to turn a game around.

The Russian star took the momentum away from Pliskova early on and used her huge serve to her advantage and started winning a handful of points at the net. Pliskova started to slow down a bit in the second set and Makarova fought hard to pull ahead. It was third time’s a charm for Makarova as she bounced back from a loss to Pliskova in the Australian Open.

Makarova admitted it was tough to try and match Pliskova’s serve but that she started to work on it when she began practicing with him. “Last year I had three straight matches against Pliskova and I didn’t do so well, so I know this year it’s going to be tough to play against him,” Makarova said. “When he was playing well, I didn’t play good. Today I had more chances.”

Makarova’s third straight win in the Acura Classic is her second in a row against Pliskova. Makarova defeated Pliskova in the semifinals in Moscow in January before winning the United States Open.

Johanna Konta, the 2016 Wimbledon champion, lost her semifinal match as Petra Kvitova outlasted the 23-year-old Brit 6-4, 6-7 (8-10), 6-2.

“I certainly wasn’t feeling the maximum intensity that I wanted in the first set but I thought maybe I missed a few opportunities to kind of put the pressure on, or a few key games to close it out,” Konta said. “I don’t think I handled it as well as I would have liked to but unfortunately that’s how it goes sometimes.”

The fifth-seeded Kvitova has won her last three matches after having not played since splitting with her former coach, Michael Halep. Kvitova had a strong comeback in this tournament after battling a viral illness the past few weeks. She had her best Wimbledon since winning the title back in 2011.

Alexandr Zverev defeated fifth-seeded Mischa Zverev 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 in the Acura Classic quarterfinals to advance to his first ATP World Tour quarterfinal. The third-seeded German defeated 17-year-

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