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Pliskova defeats Sands for first WTA title

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic kisses her trophy after winning her final match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States at the WTA Malaysian Open tennis tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, March 3, 2013.

Lai Seng Sin/AP

Unseeded Czech Karolina Pliskova won her maiden WTA singles title beating American wildcard entrant Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the Malaysian Open final on Sunday.

The 20-year-old, playing her first singles final, dropped her first set in the tournament but rallied past Mattek-Sands 1-6 7-5 6-3.

"I was a little nervous at the start and couldn't get my serves in. That contributed to the heavy (first set) loss," Pliskova told reporters.

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"I woke up in the second set and began to serve better. This helped turn the tide.

"It was a tough match but I'm delighted to win my first singles title. I still can't believe it."

Mattek-Sands got off to a flying start and looked set to win her first singles title in her fourth final but the big-serving Czech, ranked 127, found her way back into the match.

The match was tied 1-1 in the third and final set when a thunderstorm and rain halted play for more than 30 minutes on another hot and humid day in Kuala Lumpur.

"I'm still happy with the way I played all week. I don't think the rain delay affected me at all," Mattek-Sands said. "Just that she played very well.

"The beauty of tennis is that there is another tournament next week so I just have to pick myself up and get on with it."

Pliskova, who served 10 aces in the match, collected $40,000 in prize money.

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