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Tennis: Pliskova wins maiden title in Malaysia

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Karolina Pliskova shrugged off a first-set thrashing and a 40-minute rain delay to win her first WTA singles crown at the BMW Malaysian Open on Sunday.

The Czech, who was playing in her first WTA final, broke American wildcard Bethanie Mattek-Sands' heart with a come-from-behind 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory in 106 minutes in Kuala Lumpur.

Defeat for Mattek-Sands, who has 12 doubles titles to her name at the age of 28, meant her search for a first singles crown continues.

Buoyed by victory at last week's Dubai Duty Free Championships doubles title with India's Sania Mirza, Mattek-Sands started strongly, breaking the world No. 197 three times in the first set to close out an 18-minute 6-1 win.

Pliskova, 20, the 2010 Australian Open junior champion, upped her game in the second set, covering the court better and having success returning Mattek-Sands' powerful groundstrokes.

Despite losing serve early on, she broke her opponent twice to win the set in 44 minutes.

The third set was even at 1-1 when rain disrupted play for 40 minutes, with Pliskova looking refreshed after the break and prevailing over Mattek-Sands to clinch the biggest payday of her career.

She received $40,000 for the title while Mattek-Sands pocketed $20,000.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130303/tennis-pliskova-wins-maiden-title-malaysia