Tennis – Australian Open – First Round – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 21, 2020 Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova in action during the match against France’s Kristina Mladenovic REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
(Reuters) – Second seed Karolina Pliskova romped through the first set before seeing off a determined Kristina Mladenovic in the second to earn a 6-1 7-5 victory on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday and advance to the second round of the Australian Open.
Czech Pliskova, who will next play either Germany’s Laura Siegemund or American wildcard Coco Vandeweghe, made up for a wayward first serve by painting the tramlines for outright winners or forcing Mladenovic into errors.
While the first set lasted only 25 minutes the 26-year-old Mladenovic stepped up her game in the second, the Frenchwoman moving Pliskova around the court more.
But the Czech’s serve improved and after a wobble when she was broken for the first time she took the last three games and clinched the match in one hour, 24 minutes.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford