Karolina Pliskova powers past Johanna Konta to take Rome title

23 Mai, 2019, 04:56 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • The British No 1 shakes hands with her opponent after her victory

Konta lost her first final in nearly a year in Morocco two weeks ago, but will get the chance to claim the WTA Tour title when she faces either Czech Karolina Pliskova or Maria Sakkari of Greece on Sunday.

A break in each set was enough for the former world number one to get past Konta, sealing victory on her third match point after 85 minutes on court.

Pliskova looks to win her second title of the year and her 13th title of her career.

Konta had beaten Grand Slam winners Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams as well as Madrid Open champion Kiki Bertens on her way to the final, but she was immediately under pressure as she was broken by the relentless Pliskova in her opening service game. Djokovic had won the last of his four Italian Open titles in 2015, while Nadal is bidding for a ninth trophy at Rome.

"It feels great, especially since nobody really gave me a chance for this tournament, even, I think, me", Pliskova said. "I was a little bit nervous today, but it was my first final in Rome, so that s to be expected".

"I'm super pleased with how I've been progressing this year and improving in every match", said Konta.

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'This is my second biggest final after Miami.

Konta had a glimmer of a chance in the next game, closing down Pliskova from 40-0 to deuce, but when push came to shove, the Czech serve saved the day, 5-3. Karolina had 21 winners and just 14 unforced errors, leaving Konta on a 19-26 ratio that wasn't enough for at least a set, staying on only one win against the Czech in eight matches.

Although the results of the Italian Open brought devastating news for British fans, a new door of hope has opened as Konta, despite losing, still earns a seeding at the French Open.

Johanna Konta, ranked 47th in the world, has enjoyed a fairy-tale run to the Australian Open semifinals.

A service victor pushed the Czech 5-2 in front in the seventh game and she created a set point on the return in the next game, denied by Konta who forced her rival to serve for the opener. Konta has now won 11 of her last 12 matches that have gone the distance and has produced a combined 11 breaks in her last two matches.

This victory moves Pliskova up in the rankings to number two from number four and makes her one of the key contenders at the French Open, which starts next weekend.

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