Osaka admits attitude problem after Tsurenko sets up Pliskova decider

Fabio Fognini wins Monte Carlo title after beating Dusan Lajovic

Naomi Osaka said she was “childish” during a surprise loss to Lesia Tsurenko at the semi-final stage in Brisbane.

Naomi Osaka frankly stated she had the “worst attitude” as Lesia Tsurenko knocked her out of the Brisbane International to set up a final against Karolina Pliskova.

The unseeded Tsurenko took just over an hour to reach the biggest final of her career, beating the US Open champion 6-2 6-4.

Osaka thrashed the 29-year-old from Ukraine in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows last year before going on to claim her first grand slam title, but the second seed was soundly beaten at Pat Rafter Arena.

The Japanese sensation said she only had herself to blame after she was broken three times and could only muster a first-serve percentage of 54.

Osaka, who announced her withdrawal from the Sydney International next week, said: “If I’m being really frank, I just feel like I had the worst attitude today. I feel like I didn’t really know how to cope with not playing well.

“So, I don’t know, I was sulking a little bit, and there are moments that I tried not to do that. But then the ball wouldn’t go in, and then I would go back to being childish and stuff. So I think that was sort of my main problem today.”

Fifth seed Pliskova will be a strong favourite to regain the title she won in 2017 after dispatching Donna Vekic 6-3 6-4.

The former world number one won two titles last year and could start 2019 with another, having broken twice in each set to sail through to the decider.