Tennis: Pliskova ends Konta's run to win Italian Open

Karolina Pliskova (right) poses with her trophy after defeating Johanna Konta in their women's singles final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Italy, on May 19, 2019.
Karolina Pliskova (right) poses with her trophy after defeating Johanna Konta in their women's singles final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Italy, on May 19, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ROME (REUTERS, AFP) - Karolina Pliskova ended Johanna Konta's hopes of landing a first clay-court tennis title with a 6-3, 6-4 victory in the Italian Open final on Sunday (May 19).

The Czech world No. 7 did not drop a single service game as she secured the third clay title of her career in one hour 25 minutes.

Britain's top player Konta claimed some big scalps on her way to the final, beating Grand Slam winners Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams, as well as Madrid Open champion Kiki Bertens.

However, she struggled to trouble the Czech on serve as Pliskova recorded her seventh win in eight meetings with Konta.

It was a great week for me and my team," said the 27-year-old winner, now coached by former Rome champion Conchita Martinez.

"There were a couple of tough matches so I was happy to fight through them. I was a little bit nervous today, but it was the final in Rome, so that's to be expected."

Top seed Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova pulled out injured during the event, while Roland Garros champion Simona Halep crashed out in her opening match.

Four-time Rome winner Serena Williams also withdrew before the second round as her return after a two-month layoff was cut short when her knee injury flared up.