Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Resurgent Johanna Konta into Italian Open final after fightback against Kiki Bertens

Konta stuns Bertens to reach Rome final Johanna Konta reaches Italian Open final after victory over Kiki Bertens
Shannon Reynolds | 21 May, 2019, 22:26

Konta lost her first final in nearly a year in Morocco two weeks ago, but will get the chance to claim the WTA Tour title when she faces either Czech Karolina Pliskova or Maria Sakkari of Greece on Sunday.

Finally, on the fourth break point, Karolina Pliskova closed out the game with a forehand dry volley on Konta's court and took 4-3 in the second set.

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.

Bretain's unseeded Konta tried to make life as hard as possible and managed to win a breakpoint late-on, but failed to stop Pliskova from securing her third claycourt title of her carrer, dropping zero service game in the process. But at the fourth time of asking, Pliskova took the initiative, came forward, and dominated the net for a victor and the break, 4-3.

Though Konta held her next service game, and applied pressure on both Pliskova's service games, the Czech held firm and converted a third match point to claim her second title of 2019.

"It was a great week for me and my team", Pliskova said after the win.

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The 2016 U.S. Open runner-up, Pliskova also reached the Australian Open semifinals and the Miami Open final after opening this season with a title in Brisbane, Australia.

Asked about her prospects at Roland Garros, she said: "I just hope I can take the tennis I was playing here to Paris and we'll see".

Pliskova's first serve percentage was more than 90 until she double-faulted and gave Konta a break opportunity.

"It was I think (at a) couple (of) tournaments already close to happening, the rematch after this". It's my first final in Rome, but hopefully not the last!' As a seed, she can not player anyone else in the world's top 32 until at least the third round.

Since then, Sakkari has won her first WTA title on clay in Morocco last month. "I'm pleased with how I've been progressing this year and how I've been improving with every match".

The 42nd-ranked Konta served for the first set at 5-4 but was broken at love.

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