Published: Mon, May 20, 2019
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Pliskova sweeps past Konta to win Italian Open — WTA Italian Open

Pliskova sweeps past Konta to win Italian Open — WTA Italian Open

British number one Konta claimed some big scalps on her way to the final, beating Grand Slam winners Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams as well as Madrid Open champion Kiki Bertens. Especially in this tournament, it means quite a lot to me because I never played well. 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. And despite the loss, Konta can also be very happy with her progress this week, up to No26.

Konta, now 28, who lost her first final in nearly a year in Morocco two weeks ago, maintained her fine form on clay with a 6-3 3-6 6-1 victory.

Finally, on the fourth break point, Karolina Pliskova closed out the game with a forehand dry volley on Konta's court and took 4-3 in the second set.

Konta, who turned 28 on Friday, recovered after losing the last three games of the opening set to continue her impressive clay-court form.

Going into the finals of the Italian Open on Sunday, Karolina Pliskova is the obvious favourite, with the higher rank and the better overall record.

But could she take one more step to win her first title in two years?

These two have played five times and Pliskova won four of those matches.

When Nadal pushed Djokovic deep into the corner in the opening game of the third set and Djokovic's desperation lob sailed long to hand Nadal a break, Djokovic smashed his racket to the clay three times in frustration and received a warning from the chair umpire.

That in itself put the achievement of Johanna Konta-a former world No4 but now down at 42 after a hard year for both her results and her confidence-into some very positive context.

Pliskova didn't immediately realize she won because she lost track of the score.

Defeating some big names to reach the final, Konta remained pragmatic about her performance in tournament despite her loss in the final.

"It was a great week for me and my team", said the 27-year-old, now coached by former Rome champion Conchita Martinez.

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