Pliskova ends Konta run to win Italian Open

The British No 1 shakes hands with her opponent after her victory

Karolina Pliskova swept past Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4 to win the Italian Open yesterday, clinching the third and biggest clay-court title of her career.

Konta dug in to save a break point in the opening game of the second set, and the two players remained locked at 3-3, with neither woman able to take an advantage in the cool and heavy conditions.

However, despite saving three break points, she was unable to fend off Pliskova a fourth time as the Czech made what proved to be a decisive move.

A double fault when serving for the set handed Konta a break point but the British number one squandered the chance with a smash into the net with the entire court open to her.

Johanna Konta and Karolina Pliskova meet in the final of the 2019 tennis Italian Open.

Top-ranked Djokovic, meanwhile, appeared exhausted after spending more than 5 ½ hours on court against Juan Martin del Potro and Diego Schwartzman the previous two days.

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With Pliskova's win, she advanced in the world rankings as the second place and will be present as the no. 2 seed at the French Open. Pliskova executed a dominant game on the net and she net-charged quite a few times in the initial games. I was just happy with every match I played.

Konta's semi-final victory over Kiki Bertens had marked the Briton's first victory over a player ranked in the top five since beating Simona Halep at Wimbledon in 2017.

"I'm super pleased in general with how I've been progressing this year". To make a final here, my biggest since Miami, is special.

Konta did not recover from being broken in her opening service game, and against at 3-3 in the second. Pliskova got 61 percent of her first serves in play and saved four of her five break points.

Asked what were her chances of finally ending her Grand Slam duck, the 27-year-old, who will be the No. 2 seed at the Major, said: "I just hope I can take the tennis I was playing here to Paris and we'll see. but there's going to be some tough opponents who are playing good tennis on clay".

Konta then hit a weak forehand shot into the tape and the ball bounced wide, allowing Pliskova to wrap up the first set in 36 minutes.

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