Karolina Pliskova survives Petra Martic, reaches 3rd successive Rome final

Pliskova will play reigning Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek for the title in Rome.

Karolina Pliskova celebrates after beating Petra Martic in Rome; Credit: Internazionali BNL Twitter

Karolina Pliskova entered her third consecutive final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the expense of Petra Martic. She fought off a second-set fight back from Martic to win the match 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 on Saturday. “I think the first and third set, they were super solid for me, playing the game I want to play, not really going for crazy shots, but super solid,” Pliskova said after the match. “Quite good serve today. I think it was a good match.”

The 2019 champion and 2020 runner-up, Pliskova claimed her second straight three-set victory. She had earlier saved three match points in her quarterfinal win over Jelena Ostapenko. The Czech will next play reigning Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek for the title. Swiatek had beaten Coco Gauff 7-6(3), 6-3 in the other semifinal.

“I hope I will feel better, and maybe more relaxed a bit, to go to the other tournaments in the next couple weeks, months, with this kind of result,” Pliskova said. “With having the matches I had this week, overcoming some situations which I had this week, and beating some players: Martic, for example, I never beat on clay. For sure this gives me some strength.”

Earlier, Pliskova was in complete dominance in the opening set. She broke Martic in the very first game of the match and breezed past her opponent to win the set in style. However, Martic was not in a mood to give up. Her positive approach worked in the second set.

She broke through Pliskova’s service game to claim a break and lead 4-3. Contrasting to the first set, Martic was in complete control of the second set since then. The tables turned again in the third set.

Pliskova took the early lead to break Martic in the very first game. But the Croatian fought back to keep the set at 2-2. But things went haywire from there on. The Czech player won the remaining games with little difficulty to bag the set and the match in style.

After winning the other semifinal, Swiatek said, “I’m still kind of pumped up, so it’s hard to say because adrenaline is still here. I’m still pretty young so hopefully I’m going to be ready for tomorrow. I think so.”

Sportslumo Desk

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