Naomi Osaka has blamed tiredness for her defeat to Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Pan Pacific Open on Sunday.
The Japanese star was the favourite to secure the title in front of her home supporters in Tokyo, particularly as she came into the contest on the back of a 10-match winning streak that incorporated her maiden Grand Slam triumph at the US Open two weeks ago.
However, the 20-year-old never recovered from being broken by Pilskova in the fifth game of the first set and she was eventually beaten 6-4 6-4 by her Czech opponent in just 63 minutes.
Osaka has now lost in the final of her home event in two of the last three years, but she has put her latest defeat down to tiredness following a gruelling recent schedule.
“I’ve literally never felt more tired in my entire life,” Osaka said before admitting she plans to take some time off.
Former world number one Pliskova celebrated her 11th WTA Tour title with the win, but she had sympathy for Osaka, while she was also keen to pay tribute to the world number seven following her recent exploits at Flushing Meadows.
“Naomi was maybe a little bit tired, you could see that,” Pliskova said. “But the future is bright for her and congrats to her for an incredible few weeks.”