Match reports

Victory for Pliskova sets up Mertens quarter-final

This content was published 3 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

Karolina Pliskova remained on course to defend her Internazionali BNL d’Italia title after she defeated Anna Blinkova 6-4 6-3 to ease into the quarter-finals.

It was an excellent performance from Pliskova, who is on a seven-match winning streak at the Foro Italico, winning 81 percent of her first serve points and hitting 24 winners as she saw off the Russian qualifier to win back-to-back matches for the first time since the Australian Open.

Two double faults from the world No.4 in the opening game of the match helped Blinkova to an early lead but she couldn’t capitalise on her advantage and the Czech player soon had the match back on track, breaking to love in the 10th game to seal the set.

Pliskova raised her level again the second set, some brutal hitting helped her to win four games in a row as she closed in on the finish line. Blinkova recovered one of the breaks when Pliskova played a loose service game which included two double faults at 5-1, but couldn’t close the gap any further as the No.2 seed made sure to serve it out at the second attempt.

Pliskova’s quarter-final opponent will be No.11 seed Elise Mertens who overcame a spirited challenge from Danka Kovinic 6-4 6-4 to advance.

Kovinic got off to a flying start, winning the first three games of the match in nine minutes but Mertens found her way into the match, securing her first winner of the day in the fourth game, and winning six of the next seven games to take the opening set.

The Montenegrin qualifier didn’t give up however and the second set was a hard-fought affair, Mertens’ skill and experience ultimately shining through as she recorded her 26th victory of the year.

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