Injured Pliskova remains hopeful of quick turnaround before French Open

Tennis - WTA Premier 5 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - September 21, 2020 Romania's Simona Halep as she celebrates winning the final with the trophy after Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova retired from the match after sustaining an injury Clive Brunskill/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Karolina Pliskova said she hopes to be ready in time for next week’s French Open after pulling out of the Italian Open final with an injury on Monday to hand Simona Halep the title.

Top seed Halep claimed her first title in Rome after second seed Pliskova struggled with a left thigh injury, being bagelled in the opening set before she opted to retire when she was 2-1 down in the second.

Pliskova blamed the sudden switch from hardcourt to clay and late matches giving her little time to recover. The Czech said she had been feeling the niggle since her quarter-final victory over Elise Mertens.

“I have to see the doctor to see that it’s nothing... I really want to be 100% ready because if I want to go far in a Grand Slam, that’s two weeks of tennis,” Pliskova said.

“I felt it from the match with Mertens and it was growing everyday... This morning I felt it was not really good and I was thinking if I should even play, but you still want to go and try even though it didn’t look really good.”

Halep, who skipped the U.S. hardcourt swing to remain in Europe and practice on clay, won her second claycourt title in as many months and Pliskova conceded the Romanian was the favourite for the title at Roland Garros.

“Now she’s won two tournaments on clay, so I think she’s confident enough and she’s done well there,” Pliskova said. “She’s going to be dangerous.

“And she had big success in Paris, so I think she’s going to be one of my favourites to go for the title.”

Halep, who won the French Open in 2018, will be the top seed with both defending champion and world number one Ash Barty and U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka skipping the Grand Slam this year.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge