Pliskova defeats Mattek-Sands to lift Kuala Lumpur trophy

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The final of the BMW Malaysian Open was a seesaw three setter played between the American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic. Mattek-Sands, making a comeback after a string of injuries which saw the former top 30 player fall out of the top 200, is now ranked at 197, while her opponent is ranked at 127. The two had met only once before, in Linz in 2012, a match which Mattek-Sands won.

The American raced out of the blocks in the first set, not giving her opponent anything and taking the set easily at 6-1, but the Czech started stringing winners together in the second set to take it to 5-5 and really give Mattek-Sands a run for her money. Pliskova held on to take the set 7-5 to force a third set to decide the winner. The first two games of the third set went with serve before the players left the court for a rain break. When play resumed, Pliskova took a 4-3 lead before going on to take the next two games and seal the title win with a 6-3 set. This was Pliskova’s first WTA title, never before having gone beyond a quarter final.

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