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

Rome - Britain's Johanna Konta fought back from a set down to seal victory on her fourth match point against Kiki Bertens to reach the final at the Italian Open on Saturday.

"I just thought she (Pliskova) didn't really have a let-down in the whole match", she told the WTA website.

The Dutch held after three deuces in game 11 and clinched the first set with a break, taking a 7-5 lead and hoping for more of the same in the rest of the encounter.

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. In the victory, Pliskova won 76 percent of her first serve points and 50 percent of her second serve points.

Speaking to reporters later, Djokovic said, "I was just running out of fuel a little bit today". And despite the loss, Konta can also be very happy with her progress this week, up to No26. "It can feel sometimes like you are fighting an uphill battle, and that was the case today". Konta is a highly skilled player who is in terrific form at the moment, but she hasn't been on this stage very often and has struggled with her serve overall this tournament.

The Briton saved two match points, but she could not save the third.

After losing in the semifinals of three straight clay-court tournaments, Nadal dominated for stretches against his longtime rival, Novak Djokovic, in a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win Sunday for a record-extending ninth Italian Open title.

Johanna secured another one in game nine but couldn't serve for the set, suffering a break at love to keep Bertens in contention.

Tsitsipas stunned Nadal in last week's Madrid Open semi-finals before falling to Djokovic, but lost to the Spaniard in the Australian Open semis earlier this year.

"It was a great week for me and my team", said the 27-year-old, now coached by former Rome champion Conchita Martinez. Pliskova was almost unbreakable in the match, showing the world that she should never be counted out when playing on clay.

  • Angelo Rivera