Pliskova defeats Keys to repeat in Brisbane

  • AAP

Karolina Pliskova will treat herself to one day off but then it is "back to zero" as the world No.2 slots away an historic third Brisbane International trophy and hones in on a maiden Grand Slam triumph.

The clean-hitting Czech took just over two hours to beat Madison Keys 6-4 4-6 7-5 on Sunday, outlasting the valiant American despite a near three-hour semifinal tussle against Naomi Osaka on Saturday night.

It was Pliskova's third Brisbane title in four years, having reached the semifinals in 2018 between wins in 2017 and 2019.

And it marks the first time she has defended a trophy in a career that has now netted 16 titles.

The 27-year-old was most proud of the latter statistic, but said that form would count for nothing once action commences at Melbourne Park - where she reached the final four last year.

"It was my last push today, I think I spent quite a lot of time on the courts this week ... so finally tomorrow's a day off for me," she said

"My recovery is quite good, so I think one day off ... will be enough for me. 

"It was a great way to start the year. But of course, Grand Slam or any other tournament, it always starts on zero ... there's nobody really thinking that 'oh, she won a tournament two weeks ago'."

Karolina Pliskova (L) and Madison Keys meet at net after their Brisbane International final. (Getty Images)

Former US Open finalist Pliskova looked home when up a set and a break before Keys, as she did against another Czech Petra Kvitova in the semifinal, surged back to level scores.

Again it was Pliskova who nudged ahead in the decider, scoring a late break to serve for the match.

Keys broke again but couldn't get out of jail a third time when she surrendered the next service game with another backhand error.

"I don't think I played amazing tennis today and I was still right in that match, so a lot of very positive things to take away," said Keys, who will move up two ranking spots to No.11.

"I was definitely very happy with, in tight, tense moments, just totally keeping my cool and moving on to the next point."