Karolina Pliskova and Johanna Konta both came into the match looking to progress into the quarterfinal in Indian Wells. The last three times Pliskova and Konta have played each other, the victory has gone to the Czech. Konta has improved massively since losing to Pliskova last year in Birmingham, which made her chance to get a first victory over Pliskova much more of a possibility than it was before. However, Konta's efforts just fell short, as Pliskova took it 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3.
Tiebreak Needed To Decided The First Set
Konta got off to the best possible start in the set, as she took her second break point opportunity to take the first game. The British player then went on to hold her opening service game to love, putting herself 2-0 up and in a commanding lead.
Both players are known for their efficiency on serve, and this was shown as the next few games were won by the player who was serving. Neither Pliskova or Konta lost more than two points on serve during this time, with Konta also picking up another love hold.
At this stage, it looked like Konta's early break was going to be decisive in the set. However, in the eighth game, Pliskova found a way to break Konta back. The Czech raced to a 40-15 lead in the game and made no mistakes as she took her very first break point of the match, to level the score in the set.
With the momentum seemingly with the Czech, Konta soon found herself back in the lead. The Brit, broke Pliskova in the eleventh game, to put herself 6-5 up and give herself a chance to serve the set out. Pliskova was not going to lose the set without putting up a fight and this is exactly what she done. The Czech player worked herself a break point opportunity and did not falter as she took the game on the first time of asking. With the score at 6-6 a tiebreak was needed to decide the set.
The tie breaker was won rather comfortably by Pliskova. The Czech, picked up two mini breaks on the third and sixth points, which put her 5-1 up. Konta managed to add one more point to the score, before Pliskova raced through the remaining few points to take the tie break 7-2.
Konta Comes From Behind And Takes The Second Set
The second set, started of in the same way as the first, but this time it was Pliskova who picked up the break of serve in the opening game of the set. Pliskova consolidated the break but it was not easy, as she had to fight off Konta's break point opportunity.
Konta leveled the score, in the fourth game. The Brit quickly found herself 40-15 up during Pliskova's service game. This time around Pliskova could not prevent Konta from taking the break point. Konta then backed up the break by comfortably holding her service game, which swung the momentum in her direction.
The decisive break of serve came in the sixth game. Konta raced to a 40-15 lead and capitalized on her first chance to break Pliskova again. With 4-2 lead in the set, Konta just needed to hold her service games to win the set. Pliskova did not make this easy for her, as she had to fight off a break point to consolidate the break and keep herself ahead in the set.
Pliskova added one more game onto the scoreboard as she held her service game to love. This quickly put Konta back on serve, and the British player did not falter this time around when it came to serving out the set. Konta comfortably won the game to take the match to a third set.
Pliskova Gets Decisive Break
Pliskova and Konta got off to a strong start in the third set, as they both held their opening service games to love. The only break of serve came during the fourth game of the set. Pliskova made the most of her first break point opportunity to break Konta and put herself ahead in the final set.
From this break of serve, it was crucial for Konta and Pliskova to hold their service games for different reasons. Both players knew this and made sure that they did not let the other break them. Neither the Czech nor the Brit faced another break point, and only one game after the break went to deuce.
After a number of holds of service, the score was at 5-3 and Pliskova had the chance to serve the set out. The 23-year-old did not let the pressure of this get to her, as she took the game, set and match with her first opportunity.
Pliskova picked up the victory after a match which could have gone either way. The Czech advances into the quarterfinal where she will play the 18-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina.