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Karolina Pliskova was looking like a clay juggernaut and a player with a real shot to do some damage at Roland Garros after she marched into the final at Rome on Sunday with a win over Marketa Vondrousova.

Tennis Express

But things have taken a turn for the worse for the 28-year-old Czech, who was forced to pull out of Monday’s final in Rome with a thigh injury that could put a dent in her Paris preparations.

After retiring down 6-0 2-1 in the final Pliskova said she will need to see doctors to find the severity of her injury before she can even think about practicing again.

“There is a week so I think that's plenty of time,” she said. “I know I can play [next] Sunday in Paris but still there are a couple of days, which I hope is going to help a lot. I have to see the doctor just to see if it's nothing like really that heavy.”

Pliskova said she started to struggle during her three-set win over Elise Mertens in the quarterfinals and was thankful that she could win in straight sets in the semis. But things got worse for her on Monday as she tried to play her fifth match of the week.

Pliskova said that it’s just the nature of the beast with clay.

“A lot of sliding and a lot of running, especially yesterday and these last two matches—I think I felt actually it from the match with Mertens and it was like growing every day.”

She added: “I just had a couple days in a row, very difficult matches I was finishing late in the day so that there was not many time to like really recover, which would maybe also make a difference."

Pliskova said she considered not even playing against Halep, but wanted to show up and give it a shot.

“This morning and in the night I felt like it's not really good so I was for a half-second thinking if I should even play,” she said. “That was my decision and of course, huge credit to Simona because if there was somebody else, maybe it would be still possible but she doesn't give you much for free.”

If she does get healthy in time for Paris, Pliskova has done enough to feel that she’s in good form and can be tough to beat on the clay, something that is very apparent when watching her play, but doesn’t always seem to register in her psyche with regard to clay-court tennis.

"I think all week I was playing quite good tennis and I beat some good players on the clay which is always good before this big tournament in Paris, and just to have some matches because in America I didn't have many of them, of course that's positive."

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