Meanwhile, the fourth-seeded Pliskova needed just 63 minutes to complete a clinical victory.
"I think [my serve] got me out of a lot of trouble today", Osaka said afterwards.
"I didn't want to try to overpower her because I think she just has more power than me". The Japanese, who played the first of her four finals here in 2016, could have become the youngest champion here since 2010.
Third-seed Osaka, 20, said after the match that she "felt really exhausted today" and that she "wasn't doing the little things well", after having not dropped a set in tournament until Sunday.
The 20-year-old buried her head in a towel during the changeover and things barely improved in the second set, Osaka whacking her racquet against her sneakers in anger at her wastefulness.
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Osaka had earlier said she "felt really exhausted today" during her loss to Pliskova. Wozniacki). Pliskova, the third Czech to reach the final at Tokyo after Kvitova won in 2013 and Sukova in 1988 (l.
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Making fifth appearance at Tokyo, where she was through to the final for the first time, she battled back from 1-4 down in the final set against Gavrilova and came from a break down twice in the final set and saved two match points to defeat qualifier Riske in the quarter-finals.
"It was important for me to play just two sets and not go to a third one".
The Dutch second seed rallied after losing the opening two games of the decisive set, eventually winning 7-6 (2) 4-6 6-2 in two hours and 22 minutes.
"I've never been in a final in Japan and the last one is always the toughest". "She was missing quite a lot today so it was working, so I didn't change anything".
"It was a very tough match", Klizan said.
"I'm going to do my best to win the title here".
The former world number one started as if intent on finishing the contest as quickly as possible, storming to a 4-0 lead before wrapping up the first set in less than half an hour. Then the Swiss seemed to suddenly lose his nerve, making a catalogue of unforced errors to allowing the Slovak to break to love. Wawrinka quickly broke but 29-year-old Slovak produced the deciding break in the 11th game to win the set and the match. "That's normal in semifinals - there's no easy opponents".