Karolina Pliskova powers past Johanna Konta to conquer the title — WTA Rome


According to ESPN, Pliskova secured her third clay-court title and her first win in Rome when she defeated Great Britain's pride.

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 had started slowly against Kiki Bertens in her semifinal, and that proved to be the case again today, as an early break saw Pliskova storm into a 3-0 lead in less than ten minutes. But at the fourth time of asking, Pliskova took the initiative, came forward, and dominated the net for a victor and the break, 4-3.

Pliskova and Konta have met five times, with Pliskova taking four of those five matches.

Konta faced another formidable task against the tall powerhouse, the former No1, Karolina Pliskova: It meant the Briton was after a second top-five victory in two days, having had none since beating Simona Halep at Wimbledon in 2017.

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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Pliskova also now leads Konta 6-1. Djokovic had won the last of his four Italian Open titles in 2015, while Nadal is bidding for a ninth trophy at Rome.

After a hesitant couple of years, Johanna Konta has rediscovered the verve and self-belief that once made her a grand-slam contender. "I think there will be a chance for me if I play this way but there's going to be some tough opponents who are playing good tennis on clay".

She added: "I'm pleased with how I've been progressing this year and how I've been improving with every match".

"I just hope to take the tennis I was playing here to Paris", Pliskova said. "To make it to a final here, this is my second biggest final after Miami, this is a big moment for me", she said. Djokovic took the second set via a break in the 10th game, only to then be broken in the opening game of the decider, and Nadal remained firmly in control thereafter.

Pliskova was the sharper player and allowed Konta a look at just one break point.