This content was published 3 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
Johanna Konta continued her remarkable week at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by overcoming the in-form Kiki Bertens 5-7 7-5 6-2 in two hours and 49 minutes to seal a spot in the final.
It was a solid performance from the Brit to end Madrid champion Bertens’ eight match-winning streak and reach her second final in three tournaments on a surface that she has previously struggled on.
The two players were evenly matched from the outset, a pair of deuce games plus an exchange of breaks getting the match underway. Konta was using the drop shot to great effect and secured another break for 5-4 but Bertens battled back, nailing her first serves and finding her range from the baseline to take the last three games of the set in damp and windy conditions on Court Centrale.
It remained tight in the second set with Konta getting the decisive break in the 11th game, capitalising when a frustrated Bertens – who had been just two points from victory in the previous game – lost her focus, committing a couple of unforced errors and serving a double fault.
Konta remained aggressive in the third set and with the Dutchwoman struggling on serve it was a more straightforward affair. The world No. 42 raced a double break up on her way to securing victory – her first match-win over a Top 5 player since she defeated No. 2 Simona Halep at 2017 Wimbledon.
“I knew going out there that there wasn’t going to be one solution. It wasn’t going to be one answer or one specific game plan that was going to be, yeah, like: Wow, that’s okay, I’ve cracked it. It was going to be a continuous adjustment, a continuous openness to figure it out within the match. I thought I did that well,” said Konta.
“I stayed very open in trying to find a solution in each point, in each ball. I just trusted that. I kind of accepted both ways. I mean, after I lost the first set, I mean, I didn’t do much wrong. It was a very good set of tennis. Equally the second set, as well. There wasn’t anybody putting a bad foot out of line.”
“In the third, I definitely felt that I was able to maintain my level a bit better than her. I think that gave me the upper hand in stringing some more points together. I’m just very happy to have come through.”
Despite the loss, Bertens was upbeat about her performance in the match and during the 2019 clay season so far.
“Was really tight match, really close. I had some opportunities. It was tough conditions out there today with the wind. Was not easy, I would say,” said Bertens.
“I tried my best, but it was just not good today. I couldn’t stay calm, I couldn’t play my points. I don’t know. I think it was just like done. I think a little bit of everything. I think what you said, the fatigue. Of course, I had the day off yesterday, but it was not enough. I need some more time to recover again. It’s just been a great two weeks. I can be really happy with the results, semifinal here. But, yeah, today was just not good, no.”
Konta reached her first clay court final in Rabat earlier this month and could face the same opponent in Sunday’s final, should Maria Sakkari prevail in the second semi-final of the day against Karolina Pliskova.