Pliskova beats Sakkari in Rome repeat, sets up final with Konta

Johanna Konta earned an upset win and Karolina Pliskova avenged some Rome demons at the Italian Open.

Karolina Pliskova celebrates in Rome.   -  Getty Images

Karolina Pliskova had no need to repeat her histrionics from a year ago as she defeated Maria Sakkari to set up an Italian Open final against Johanna Konta, who defeated the in-form Kiki Bertens.

It was at the same tournament in Rome in 2018 that the usually placid Pliskova lost her cool in a round-two match with Sakkari over a disputed line call, leading to the Czech smashing her racket against the umpire's chair and ultimately receiving a fine.

But Pliskova was all smiles after Saturday's semifinal against her Greek opponent as the fourth seed ran out a 6-4, 6-4 victor to reach Sunday's showpiece.

READ | Konta stuns Bertens to reach Italian Open final

Sakkari claimed the first break to take a 2-1 lead that she consolidated, only for Pliskova to hit back after a short break for rain.

Pliskova made it four games in a row by breaking again to take the first set and both players had to save break points early in the second.

It looked as though the set may be headed for a breaker until Sakkari once again failed to hold at 5-4 down, with Pliskova clinically breaking to love.

Sakkari, a 39th-ranked Rome qualifier, had won her first WTA title on clay at the Moroccan Open when she beat Britain's Johanna Konta.

“I think I ran out of gas,” said the 23-year-old.