Karolina Pliskova eased to the Italian Open title with a straight sets win against British number one Johanna Konta on Sunday. Konta had hoped to secure the biggest title of her career ahead of the upcoming French Open and was boosted by her semi-final triumph against Madrid Open champion Kiki Bertens.
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However, Pliskova had won five of their six previous head-to-heads and never really looked like losing for a second time against Konta as she won the first three games and held onto the lone service break to take the opening set. She then won a marathon seventh game in the second set to break Konta and then held on to record a 6-3 6-4 victory in one hour and 25 minutes.
The former world number one will now go to the French Open as a second seed having become the first Czech woman to win in Rome since Regina Marsikova in 1978. Afterwards, Pliskova said: “It was a great week for me and my team. “There were a couple of tough matches so I was happy to fight through them. I was a little bit nervous today, but it was the final, so that’s to be expected. It’s my first final in Rome, but hopefully not the last!”