Simona Halep dethroned Karolina Pliskova at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, as the defending champion retired early in the second set of their Monday’s final.
The top-seeded Halep, entering the match on a 13-match winning streak, stormed through the opening set in 20 minutes, as Pliskova didn’t even manage to hit one winner. The only game in which the second seed was more competitive was when she had a triple break point at 0-3 40-0, but Halep regained control by winning five successive points and eased through the rest of the set, 6-0.
Continuing the momentum, Halep opened the second set by breaking Pliskova and even though Pliskova finally managed to earn one game, on her opponent’s serve, the Rome final was over in just 32 minutes as the Czech made an emotional decision to retire because of a left thigh injury.
In the trophy ceremony, Pliskova said that she wasn’t 100% ready for today’s match and to give proper resistance to Halep she needed to be absolutely healthy and prepared.
After a first-round bye, Halep converted eight of 10 break points to see off Italian wildcard Jasmine Paolini, then recovered from a break down in the first set to overcame Dayana Yastremska in the third round (the result ensured she has made quarterfinals or better in all five tournaments played this year), her quarterfinal opponent Yulia Putintseva retired with a back injury midway through second set, and then she battled past fellow major winner Garbine Muguruza in the semis.