Wednesday, 18 September, 2019


Pliskova beats Konta to win 2019 Italian Open title

Konta is the first British finalist in Rome since Virginia Wade in 1971 Konta is the first British finalist in Rome since Virginia Wade in 1971 Credit GETTY IMAGES
Noah Ferguson | 23 May, 2019, 04:57

Pliskova has also reached the Australian Open semi-finals and the Miami Open final in 2019 after opening this season with a title in Brisbane.

Konta, ranked 42, came through 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 against sixth seed Bertens, victor of the Madrid Open last week, after nearly three hours on the red clay of Rome.

"It was a great week for me and my team", said the 27-year-old, now coached by former Rome champion Conchita Martinez. Pliskova has hit a combined 25 aces in her last three matches, and when she's hitting her spots like that, she's one of the tougher players on tour to beat.

She had never gone past the semi-finals in her four previous appearances in Rome.

The Briton failed to convert it and the pressure was on her side of the net all the time, having to play against seven break chances and suffering one break in each set to propel Pliskova over the finish line.

The French Open is set to begin on May 20.

Konta made hard work of the clash, failing to serve out the first set as Bertens surged into the lead, but broke back in the second before sailing through the third until she stood 5-2, 40-0 up before eventually closing it out on her fourth set point.

Unforced errors from Konta's end gave Karolina Pliskova to a set point opportunity, but however, she squandered it with a broad forehand and later, Konta earned the hold.

"There's rarely really a rhythm to the match", Konta said. Pliskova got 61 percent of her first serves in play and saved four of her five break points. "It can feel sometimes like you are fighting an uphill battle, and that was the case today".

In defeating Bertens, the tournament's seventh seed, it was a first victory for Konta over a player ranked in the top five in the world since beating Simona Halep at Wimbledon in 2017. Still, Pliskova has to have the edge in this match with the way she's serving and the experience advantage. And she began the first British woman since 1971, to play in the finals on the Roman dirt.

"I m definitely pleased with this week. That s still quite an achievement", said Konta. I have a couple of days to rest now, then go to Paris (French Open).

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