Johanna Konta’s hopes of Italian Open glory were dashed as Karolina Pliskova powered her way to victory in Rome.
The fourth seed claimed her second title of the season with a 6-3 6-4 win over the British number one.
Pliskova broke in the second game of the first set and although the unseeded Konta made life difficult throughout, she made just five unforced errors to take it 6-3.
Konta’s response was concerted as the second set went with serve before she had the opportunity to establish a 4-3 lead.
However, despite saving three break points, she was unable to fend off Pliskova a fourth time as the Czech made what proved to be a decisive move.
She made it 5-3 after Konta had fought her way back to deuce and although the Briton held in the penultimate game, Pliskova converted her third championship point to take the title and secure the number two spot in the new rankings on Monday.