WTA Malaysian Open: Karolina Pliskova beats Bethanie Mattek-Sands
Last Updated: March 3, 2013 10:03pm
Title joy: Karolina Pliskova claims the BMW Malaysian Open
Karolina Pliskova overcame a first-set thrashing and a 40-minute rain delay to win her first WTA singles title at the BMW Malaysian Open on Sunday.
The Czech player, who was playing in her first WTA final, defeated American wildcard Bethanie Mattek-Sands 1-6 7-5 6-3 in 106 minutes in Kuala Lumpur.
She hit 10 aces during the encounter, with her first serve a vital weapon as she powered to victory in the final two sets.
"I was a little nervous at the start and couldn't get my serves in. That contributed to the heavy (first set) loss," said Pliskova.
"I woke up in the second set and began to serve better. This helped turn the tide.
"It was a tough match but I'm delighted to win my first singles title. I still can't believe it."
Mattek-Sands, fresh from victory with doubles partner Sania Mirza at last week's Dubai Duty Free Championships, started strongly, breaking Pliskova three times to close out the first set in 18 minutes.
Pliskova, the 2010 Australian Open junior champion, then upped her game in the second set, breaking her opponent twice to win in 44 minutes.
The third set was even at 1-1 when rain disrupted play for 40 minutes.
After the break, Pliskova looked refreshed and prevailed over Mattek-Sands to clinch the biggest payday of her career, earning $40,000 while the American pocketed $20,000.
Mattek-Sands, who has 12 doubles titles to her name at the age of 28, will have to wait a little longer for a first singles crown.
"I'm still happy with the way I played all week. I don't think the rain delay affected me at all. Just that she played very well," she said.
"The beauty of tennis is that there is another tournament next week so I just have to pick myself up and get on with it."