Osaka wins Toray Pan Pacific for 1st title in Japan

Naomi Osaka wins Toray Pan Pacific, her 1st title on Japan soil

Naomi Osaka wins Toray Pan Pacific, her 1st title on Japan soil

Naomi Osaka won her first singles title since the Australian Open in January by beating Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3 in the Toray Pan Pacific final on Sunday.

It is Osaka's first title in the country of her birth she lost finals in Tokyo in 2016 and '18 and fourth in her career.

The win over Putintseva was a particularly sweet one for Osaka, given the Ukrainian had won their last three meetings in straight sets, including a first-round success at Wimbledon earlier this year.

Japan's world number four Naomi Osaka says she is "most comfortable" playing on hard courts.

Two-time Grand Slam victor Osaka, 21, had not won a set in three previous encounters with Kazakhstan's Putintseva, 24. "I was really anxious for her because ankle injures are pretty serious sometimes", said Osaka, who was one of the first to reach Putintseva and offer her support.

This is Osaka's second Semi-final of the season after her stint at the Australian Open.

Her challenger in the final will be Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russian Federation, 28, who ousted former world number one Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3, 6-3.