But Pliskova came roaring back and was ultimately comfortable in a 4-6 7-5 6-2 triumph to get her 2019 season off to a flier.
BC-TEN-Brisbane International, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 709Tsurenko upsets second-seeded Osaka to reach Brisbane finalAP Photo XTP112, XTP109, XTP102, XTP125, XTP103, XTP129, XTP119, XTP139Eds: Updates with 2nd women's semifinal, fixes typo in 4th paragraph to Lesia.
For the opening hour of the match, Pliskova looked to be frustrated and out of sorts while Tsurenko was extremely composed.
She took that form into the second set and broke Pliskova early.
"Great final today, I lost to him past year in the final in Japan, so I'm happy to get revenge today", Nishikori added.
"I was just focused on every point and thinking about every shot like it's the most important one".
"She was so good and so solid", Pliskova said.More news: Chance The Rapper Slandered For Not Believing Black Women Comment, Twitter Debates
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"It's nearly like I was trying to be the good girl and not show much emotion, and I lost myself a bit", said a frustrated Gavrilova.
After his impressive straight sets quarterfinal win over Grigor Dimitrov, Nishikori said he had set his sights on returning to the world's top 5 after falling to 39 last April due to a wrist injury at the end of 2017 that required time away from the tour. She helped me just to get motivated a little bit more, to get going a little bit more.
"I think I just dug deep today, and that's important".
And he showed all the qualities of a top 5 player in his 66-minute demolition at the Pat Rafter Arena.
The 29-year-old second seed gave his French opponent no chance as he put on a commanding all-court display to advance to the final for the second time in three years.
"I don't want to say that this was my best tennis, but it was quite a high level", Tsurenko said. "But, yeah, I feel like today was a very valuable lesson".
Kei Nishikori was playing Jeremy Chardy in the first of the men's semifinals, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had a night match against fourth-seeded Daniil Medvedev.