The Czech world number seven did not drop a single service game as she secured the third clay title of her career and her first in Rome in one hour 25 minutes. Konta dug deep after dropping the first set and managed to win a match that took almost three hours to complete. Especially in this tournament, it means quite a lot to me because I never played well. "I was a little bit nervous today, but it was the final, so that's to be expected", she added during the trophy ceremony. Konta is a highly skilled player who is in terrific form at the moment, but she hasn't been on this stage very often and has struggled with her serve overall this tournament.
"It can feel sometimes you're fighting an uphill battle".
They traded breaks at the beginning of the second set and it was the Briton who took charge after that, serving well and taking the last three games for a 7-5, including a break at 5-5 that gave her the crucial advantage. Tussling back and forth on the center court of Foro Itlaico, Pliskova earned three break points, but Konta's ace serves and her errors hindered to her to convert those points.
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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.
In the men's competition, world number one Djokovic - victor at the Madrid Open last weekend - will meet defending champion and eight-time victor Rafael Nadal. Djokovic took the second set via a break in the 10th game, only to then be broken in the opening game of the decider, and Nadal remained firmly in control thereafter. I was just happy with every match which I played. "If I play better, I know I'm going to have chances to be in finals and to win semifinal matches", Nadal said.
Nadal broke three times in the opening set and the first "bagel" of their rivalry was registered.