Pliskova made a fast start, winning the opening set 6-2, but Osaka battled back to level proceedings in the second only to have to retire early in the third. "To play the final of the U.S. Open and then to come here, I think I did pretty well".
The second set continued in the same manner with both servers on top until Pliskova pounced in game nine, breaking her opponent to love and giving her the chance to serve out for the title.
Osaka advanced to face world No. 8 Pliskova in the final after the big-serving Czech outlasted Croatia's Donna Vekic 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in a topsy-turvy match that lasted more than two hours. "As I am feeling very exhausted today, maybe I wasn't doing the little things well".
Playing in her first tournament since upsetting Serena Williams to win the U.S. Open on September 8, third-seeded Osaka hadn't dropped a set previous to Sunday's final but was frustrated from the outset by the big-serving Czech player.
Playing her fourth final of 2018, the second-seeded Dutchwoman reeled off the final six games to emerge with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-2 victory in a roller-coaster match lasting 2 hours and 24 minutes.
The players had split their previous two meetings, but Osaka started the final as favourite after her historic NY triumph.
Currently just outside the eight qualifying spots for next month's WTA Finals in Singapore, Pliskova has now spent 420 minutes on court in Tokyo compared to 222 minutes for Osaka. She won her first career title in that tournament.
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In the next set, Pliskova looked like she would cruise past Vekic as she broke to lead 3-1.
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Sensing blood, Pliskova broke for 5-4 after a poor Osaka drop shot gifted her an easy put-away.
For Pliskova, it was a first tournament victory since Stuttgart in April - and the first since marrying long-time partner Michal Hrdlicka in the summer.
The Japanese world No. 7 was beaten 4-6, 4-6 by Czech Pliskova in Tokyo and said afterwards that she was suffering from fatigue.
"It's a bit surprising but I felt kind of calm going into the first round match and a lot of people were surprised because they thought I would be very nervous", Osaka told reporters of her stunning run of form.