Pliskova wins biggest clay title of her career

Tanya Simon
May 21, 2019

The British No 1 could not overcome the big-serving Karolina Pliskova, of Czech Republic, in the Italian Open final today, losing 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 25 minutes.

Pliskova broke in the second game of the first set and although the unseeded Konta made life hard throughout, she made just five unforced errors to take it 6-3.

The unseeded Konta appeared nervous at the start, double faulting then landing a backhand into the net to hand Pliskova a break in her opening service game. Pliskova won 66 percent of her total service points and converted on three of her five break points.

World Number seven, Karolina Pliskova entered the third finals of 2019 season after taking out the Greek, Maria Sakkari in straight sets in the semifinals of Italian Open 2019.

It will be the 54th clash between the world s top two men s players who have won 12 of the last 14 Rome titles between them.

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"Jo played great tennis so she made it quite tough for me", the Czech said. Konta has lost her last three final appearances and is 3-4 in career final appearances.

She becomes the first Czech woman to win the Rome tournament since Regina Marsikova in 1978.

"I just thought she (Pliskova) didn't really have a let-down in the whole match", she told the WTA website. She also managed to surpass Madrid Open champion Kiki Bertens until the British tennis star came out short as Pliskova succeeded in breaking her under pressure during the final match.

Pliskova's victory will move her up to No. 2 in the rankings and makes her one of the contenders for Roland Garros. I was just happy with every match I played. "Before the tournament, I was not super confident, not thinking about the final at all". After Saturday's courageous 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Bertens, Konta now stands on the verge of a Premier Five title - a feat that would compare with her capture of the Miami Open in the spring of 2017.

"She played very consistently. I'm very pleased to be making that progress". As a seed, she can not player anyone else in the world's top 32 until at least the third round.

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