Pliskova eases past Konta to become Internazionali BNL d’Italia champion


World No.7 Karolina Pliskova confidently defeated world No.42 Johanna Konta in the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia 6-3 6-4 to become the third woman this season to win multiple titles.

The 27-year-old Pliskova opened the match with a love hold and raced to a 3-0 lead, maintaining that advantage of one break to win the first set. At 3-5, Konta had a break point that was her only hope of overturning the outcome of the set, but she produced an unbelievable forehand miss that made one of her fans in the stands grab his head in despair. The first set was soon in Pliskova’s hands and the Czech finished it with immaculate 85.7% serve stats, having missed just four first serves in the set.

The second set went with serve until a long seventh game in which Pliskova capitalized on her fourth break point and soon afterwards marched to her 13th career title.

En route to the final, after a first-round bye this week, Pliskova cruised past Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round, then recovered from 6-4 2-0 down to beat Sofia Kenin, followed the victory with a revenge over Victoria Azarenka, who ended her Stuttgart title defense in April, and with a semifinal revenge over last year’s conqueror here Maria Sakkari.

At the 2019 Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Pliskova struck 35 aces, taking season total to 252, a tour-leading number ahead of Kiki Bertens’ 246 aces.

By winning the title, Karolina Pliskova will climb to No.2 WTA ranking, overtaking Petra Kvitova as Czech No.1, while runner-up Johanna Konta of Great Britain will return to the Top 30, ascending to No.26.


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