Sunday’s Set Points, Rome 2019: Pliskova d. Konta to win second title of the year

Madrid and Rome are in the books and we are now just one week away from the start of the 2019 French Open. This post reviews Sunday’s Rome final, as well a few highlights from the Wimbledon No.1 Court roof celebration! I’ll be back next weekend gearing up for the French Open festivities. The main draw will be unveiled on Thursday night with play getting underway next Sunday 😀.

Final review 🎾

Karolina Pliskova d. Johanna Konta, 6-3 6-4

Pliskova won her second title of 2019, breaking Konta’s serve once in each set to win a low-key final. Pliskova’s serve was sensational throughout the first set as she landed 86% (!) of first serves in and dropped just seven points on serve. Konta had a few fleeting opportunities including a lone break point in the first set when she netted a forehand with Pliskova on the scramble.

While Konta hit some superb down-the-line backhands, I thought she made too many unforced errors by going too close to the lines. I’ve enjoyed Konta’s variety this week and I think it’s really working for her on the clay. While the drop shots worked beautifully in her last two matches, they didn’t quite pay off  on this occasion against a surprisingly nifty Pliskova. The Czech player produced an all-round excellent display and looked especially impressive up at the net.

Handshakes and hugs 🤗

From the No.1 Court roof opening, a nice hug at the net between Venus and Kim 🙂.

Super snap 📸

I’m excited to see the new No.1 Court at Wimby this year!

Press highlights 📰

The press conferences from the Rome finalists are linked below.

Recommended listening 🎧

A shout out for the latest Tennis with an Accent podcast with a focus on the WTA towards the end.

Final thoughts 🤔

The discussion of the top five contenders for Roland Garros on the latest Tennis with an Accent podcast got me thinking about how I would rank the field. Post-Rome and pre-RG draw (so much depends on the draw!) my top five contenders would be Halep, Bertens, Pliskova, Osaka and Muguruza. While Halep and Bertens are a clear top two for me, I have my reservations about both winning the whole caboodle. My current feeling is the champ will take us all by surprise. Can’t wait to see all the tennis action unfold in Paris and i’ll be back next weekend to get stuck into the second Slam of 2019!

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11 thoughts on “Sunday’s Set Points, Rome 2019: Pliskova d. Konta to win second title of the year

  1. Great match from Karolina. What is scary is that she wasn’t super aggressive, she was very contained and disciplined in her shot making, and yet she still really dominated the match. I didn’t like how Konta was toward the end, she didn’t half take her sweet time when Pliskova was serving it out.

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    • Maybe Jo was tired? She’d had a heck of a schedule this tournament. I don’t think anyone’s ever accused her of gamesmanship (apart from perhaps the Romanians after the Nastase incident).

      Fair dos to Karo anyway, who’s obviously back to something like her best . She clearly doesn’t do hugs at the net though (unless as you suggest she was annoyed by what she saw as Jo’s time-wasting).

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      • Did you not think that she was deliberately taking her time in that game? I’ve always said that I’ve found Jo to be a drama queen, but I feel like she’s been a hell of a lot more composed the past couple of years. And I generally really liked her attitude in this match, she just spoiled it for me at the end.

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  2. I would still have loved a match-up between Karolina and Kiki Bertens. Would have helped my predictions with regards Roland Garros. Nevertheless, Kudos to Karolina and Conchita as well. Johanna played a good tourney, but, was too unsettled for the opponent she was playing in the final. I guess these may be the inform players going into the french, but me thinks it’s still wide open for several other players.

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  3. James, i agree with you on the top 3 contenders, Halep, Bertens and Pliskova. Don’t trust Osaka chances on clay and Muguruza seems to me very erratic for a long time now to consider her a threat in Paris. While i think about Halep as strong favourite, she need two conditions to win, no rain and avoid a ballbasher in a very good day. Bertens seems more reliable as a winner but her Slam history is not that good. I agree with Andrew, Pliskova look scary good and she have her chances. My fave, Azarenka showed glimpses of her good years and i really hope, with a lucky draw, she will go far in Paris.

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    • Osaka has really impressed me on clay actually. But can she really make it 3 in a row? That would be quite some achievement! I think Bertens is still my pick as it stands.

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  4. Marta Kostyuk starting to find some form! Made QFs at an ITF last week, now qualified for and won a main draw match in Strasbourg. Six consecutive days playing!

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