Competing in the third WTA final of the season, world no. 7 Karolina Pliskova took down Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 25 minutes, claiming the 13th WTA title and the biggest one on clay! Johanna Has been playing her best tennis on clay in the last couple of weeks, defeating world no.
4 and Madrid champion Kiki Bertens in the semi-final on Saturday and giving her best to stay in touch with Karolina as well. The Czech proved to be too strong, though, delivering fury from the initial shot and dropping 17 points in ten service games to face only one break point.
The Briton failed to convert it and the pressure was on her side of the net all the time, having to play against seven break chances and suffering one break in each set to propel Pliskova over the finish line. Karolina had 21 winners and just 14 unforced errors, leaving Konta on a 19-26 ratio that wasn't enough for at least a set, staying on only one win against the Czech in eight matches.
Settling into a desired rhythm right from the start, Karolina lost just four points in the first four service games, clinching an early lead with a break in game two when Johanna netted a backhand. A service winner pushed the Czech 5-2 in front in the seventh game and she created a set point on the return in the next game, denied by Konta who forced her rival to serve for the opener.
Standing so close to the finish line, Pliskova faced a break point in game nine, saving it after a colossal forehand error from Johanna and taking the set 6-3 after a poor drop shot from the Briton. Delivering one good hold after another, Pliskova controlled the pace in set number two as well, reducing the number of errors and constructing the points nicely to keep the rival away from the comfort zone.
Konta stayed in touch in the opening six games before playing against four break points at 3-3, falling on the last one when Karolina landed a forehand drive-volley winner who crossed the finish line with a hold in game ten to celebrate one of the career-best titles.
Pliskova is back to world no. 2 position with these points and she will be seeded second behind Naomi Osaka in Paris in seven days time. "I mean, it's always tough playing Karolina. There's rarely really a rhythm to the match.
She plays with big shots, quite flat, and big serves. It can feel sometimes you're fighting an uphill battle. That was the case today. I just thought she didn't really have a letdown throughout the match. She played very consistently.
I found it quite hard to get a footing into the match, which is credit to her. But equally I thought I actually did the best I could really. I didn't do too much wrong today, so... Yeah, it's disappointing. Obviously I would have loved to have won the title.
I also have a lot to be proud of this week. To be honest, I don't think the surfaces make as huge of a difference as you guys might think. I think her serve is equally as effective in a different way. I think she was obviously using her kick serve more, as well, which kicked quite high today here.
I mean, her shots are still flat, they're still big, quite deep. It was still just as difficult to really try and get her out of position. She reads the game very well. Movement-wise, I mean, I think that's her biggest strength.
Movement-wise, she is reading the game well. Yeah, I mean, I'm definitely pleased with this week. I think, like I said, I've got a lot of things to be proud of and take away from it. I mean, I think every week I've really just been building on each match that I've been playing.
This is my second final in three weeks. That's still quite an achievement. I'm quite pleased with that. I think, yeah, I'm looking forward to Paris. I'm looking forward to keep going. I'm looking forward to every day, yeah.
I did, but I'd already hit the shot by then. She held her position quite well. I may not have held mine for long enough. I mean, what's happening is that it's great. It's awesome I think. What's happening is that we have a lot of players to enjoy watching.
I think it's what everyone should be looking forward to, every fan, to know when you turn up to a tournament, the first rounds, they're all going to be exciting, entertaining. People come to watch us for entertainment.
It's a very good thing to have. The fact that nothing's guaranteed, that makes sports exciting. If you're showing up to matches and you know 99% of the outcome, it can get quite boring and repetitive. I think it's exciting to have challenges from all different players for big titles, for each match.
You can see so many champions in the Grand Slams of the past few years have come from match points down in early rounds to come through and win slams. I think it's a very good position we find ourselves in."