Pliskova wins Transylvania Open and breaks 4-year trophyless curse

Tennis - The ball kid stood right near Djokovic and Medvedev at the 2021 US Open.

by Claudiu Pop
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Pliskova wins Transylvania Open and breaks 4-year trophyless curse
© Transylvania Open / Instagram

Karolina Pliskova defeated home favorite Ana Bogdan on Sunday to win the 2024 edition of the Transylvania Open, played in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The former world number one won in straight sets (6-4, 6-3), managing to not concede any set during the whole tournament.

On her way to the title, Pliskova beat Sinja Kraus, Camila Osorio, Sara Errani, Harriet Dart, and, of course, Ana Bogdan. Pliskova's Transylvania Open performance helped her end a 4-year trophyless period. The last time the Czech player won a title was in 2020 at the Brisbane International, when she beat Madison Keys in 3 sets (6–4, 4–6, 7–5).

Karolina Pliskova winning Brisbane 2020© Chris Hyde / Getty Images Sport

As is the habit, Pliskova congratulated Bogdan during her winner's speech. Besides, the Czech praised the tournament. "It's not a big tournament but it feels like a big tournament.

I really enjoyed my stay here," said Pliskova of Transylvania Open, which won the distinction for the best WTA250 tournament in the world two years in a row. Pliskova thinks the tournament will win again this year. During the trophy ceremony, Patrick Ciorcila, the tournament director, announced that Transylvania Open finally earned a permanent position in the WTA calendar.

How did Pliskova win

Ana Bogdan had a whole arena cheering for her throughout the match.

After each point scored by Ana, the crowd exploded in applause and cheers. Pushed from the back by the crowd, Bogdan rapidly won her first service game. Overwhelmed, Pliskova lost hers after committing a few unforced errors, including a double fault.

Following up with a bold 40-15, Bogdan made it 3-0.

Pliskova's comeback

However, Pliskova calibrated her serve in the 4th game and managed to win her second service game. Persevering with improved gameplay, Pliskova had her first two break points on Bogdan's serve at 3-1.

Karolina broke and made it 3-2. Bogdan continued to put pressure on Pliskova's serve, achieving two break points. Yet, the Czech resisted, equalizing the score. It's 3-3. Bogdan responded with a bold 40-0. Pliskova leveled the score again (4-4).

Karolina breaks and wins the first set

Besides equalizing, the former WTA number one obtained three break points on Bogdan's serve. With the help of the crowd, Ana made it 40-40. Pliskova missed one more break point in the same game before finally managing to break.

It's 5-4 with Pliskova set to serve. Karolina concluded the first set with 6-4 after a 40-0 service game.

Tired Bogdan kept struggling against forceful Pliskova

A set down and coming after a long semifinal against Jaqueline Cristian, Bogdan was heading to a loss.

The crowd felt it too as their cheers got quieter. Anyway, Bogdan managed to win the first game of the second set. Keeping a strong serve, Pliskova quickly equalized. Although struggling again on serve, Bogdan made it 2-1. Unfortunately for the Romanian, Pliskova was solid again on serve.

The score is 6-4, 2-2 one hour and three minutes into the match. Pliskova made it 40-0 on Bogdan's serve, achieving 3 break points. Karolina broke as Bogdan's shots got weaker and weaker. No wonder since Ana had spent 4 hours on the court at that point.

Pliskova stood strong on serve again with a 40-0 service game, distancing herself at 4-2. Though struggling once again, Bogdan made it 4-3. Pliskova leveled it up to 5-3. Going 0-40 on Bogdan's serve, Pliskova obtained three championship points and, after the home favorite saved one, Karolina won the Transylvania Open.

Pliskova really wanted the trophy

After all, Pliskova expressed her eagerness to win in Transylvania after beating Harriet Dart in the semifinals. „The crowd will be on her side, I will accept that you will stick with Ana.

I want the trophy, I haven't won one in a long time,” said Pliskova. Read more: Karolina Pliskova dodges Dart to reach first WTA final in last 2 years. Here is the championship point.

Pliskova climbed up 19 places in the WTA ranking after her victory in Transylvania, now sitting in 59th place.

On the other side, Ana Bogdan, who lost her chance to grab the first WTA250 title of her career, climbed 11 places to the 54th place. Also, she received the prize and the trophy for the most popular player in the Transylvania Open tournament.

“Thank you for everything I felt this week because of you. I have never experienced these moments on the tennis court before. It wasn't my lucky day but I know I will go back to work to be able to lift the big trophy one day," Bogdan said at the trophy ceremony.

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