“Maybe that’s why I feel much better here, because I have been in Karolina Pliskova will chase a third straight win over former No. 1 Simona Halep on Monday when the pair meet in the final of the Rome Masters.

The Czech booked her spot in the title match at the Foro Italico 6-2, 6-4 over compatriot Marketa Vondrousova; Halep defeated Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Pliskova, the Rome defending champion, trails Halep 4-7 in their overall series; but the Czech has beaten the Romanian in their last two 2019 encounters – Miami and the year-end finals in Shenzhen.

Pliskova shrugs off criticism that her opening-round loss in “Cincinnati” last month (played in New York due to COVID)  and a 1-1 record at the ensuing US open meant that her American trip was a failure.

Simona Halep will play Karolina Pliskova in Rome Masters Final Photo WTA Tennis.com

“The results don’t always have to be great to feel good about yourself,” she said. “Just to even to travel there (world virus hotspot) I think was a big step,that experience in the bubble. 

“I didn’t  have many matches in America, But my three matches helped me to feel that I’m back competing in tournaments.

“I’ve had tough opponents, but every match I feel like my level is a little bit higher.”

Pliskova knows what her job on court against Halep will be on Monday afternoon.

“It’s going to be super tough because she’s fighting. She won the tournament in Prague – now she’s back in the final here (third time)

“It’s never going to be easy with her no matter which tournament it is. It’s going to be great final.”

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