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Pliskova powers past Martic to reach third consecutive Rome final
The world No. 9 grabbed another three-set win over at the 1000-level event to set up a clash with Iga Swiatek.
Published May 15, 2021
Once again, Karolina Pliskova is relishing her time in Rome with another deep run into the 1000-level event's final. The Czech managed to squeeze out another gritty win against strong clay-courter Petra Martic, posting a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 score to advance.
"I love to play matches, I love to play three sets," Pliskova laughingly said to Tennis Channel host Prakash Amritraj. "So, body is doing great."
Before digging deep to beat Martic, she was just one point away from making a quarterfinal exit at the hands of 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko, but in the end managed to post a 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (1) score to stay alive in Italy's capital. It's also important to note, she didn't just save one match point but three before storming back to come out on top in the two hours and 20 minute affair.
"I think I was playing great today, much better than yesterday. It was very important that I got the win yesterday, I fought for it and today was much better," she told Tennis Channel.
Other than being able to lock in on the big points by using her strong mental game, there's just something about the red dirt in Rome for the No. 9 seed. Last year she also reached the final and in 2019 she took home the title, dismissing Johanna Konta in the final.
In Saturday's semifinal, Pliskova moved around the court free of any tension and wasn't afraid to step into the court and be aggressive when necessary. The world No. 9 struck 37 winners to 31 unforced errors which accurately reflects her ability to find her sweet spot against Martic. The three-set win was her first victory over the Croatian on clay.
Pliskova will face another strong clay-courter in Sunday's final round when she vies for the Rome title against 2020 Roland Garros champion, Iga Swiatek. She's looking forward to another challenge and will be enjoying the success of playing in her third-career Rome final round.
"It's already a great success and I just want to enjoy it a bit," Pliskova said.
Sunday's final mark's Pliskova's first encounter with Swiatek.