KUALA LUMPUR: Karolina Pliskova shrugged off a first-set thrashing and a 40-minute rain delay to win her first WTA singles crown at the BMW Malaysian Open yesterday.
The Czech, who was playing in her first WTA final, broke American wildcard Bethanie Mattek-Sands’ heart with a come-from-behind 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory in 106 minutes in Kuala Lumpur. Mattek-Sands started strongly, breaking the world number one three times in the first set to close out an 18-minute 6-1 win.
Pliskova upped her game in the second set, covering the court better and having success returning Mattek-Sands’ powerful groundstrokes. Despite losing serve early on, she broke her opponent twice to win the set in 44 minutes. The third set was even at 1-1 when rain disrupted play for 40 minutes, with Pliskova looking refreshed after the break and prevailing over Mattek-Sands to clinch the biggest payday of her career.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2013.
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