Pliskova ends Konta run to win Italian Open

Pliskova ends Konta run to win Italian Open

Karolina Pliskova produced a dominant performance to defeat Johanna Konta in straight sets as she won the Italian Open title in Rome.

Vondrousova, who knocked out third seed Simona Halep in the previous round, fought back in the second set and broke Konta for the first time in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead.

Konta dominated the deciding set, breaking Bertens' serve twice, though she needed four match points to seal the win, having made three unforced errors at 40-0 in the final game.

The Czech world number seven did not drop a single service game as she secured the third clay title of her career and her first in Rome in one hour 25 minutes.

It was the 54th meeting between world No 2 two Nadal and No 1 Djokovic, and the first in which either player had won a set to love.

In 2019, though, she arrived in Italy after reaching her first clay final in Rabat last month, and once in Rome, she beat both Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens on the same day to reach her first Premier clay quarter-final, survived a three-setter against rising star Marketa Vondrousova, and beat Kiki Bertens, Madrid champion, in an impressive three sets and nearly three hours.

Serving for the win, Konta converted the fourth match point to notch the first top-5 win since Wimbledon 2017 and achieving another result on the recently-mastered surface to earn the place in the title match.

Midway through the second set, Nadal chased down a lob with an over-the-shoulder shot and Djokovic's ensuing overhead landed in the net to conclude a long point. As for Pliskova, she has played her fair share of tough matches in the past, and this one will be no different.

Konta is the first British woman to reach the Italian Open final since Virginia Wade in 1971. I was just happy with every match which I played. "It can feel sometimes like you are fighting an uphill battle, and that was the case today".

The 2016 U.S. Open runner-up, Pliskova also reached the Australian Open semifinals and the Miami Open final after opening this season with a title in Brisbane, Australia.

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