Australian Open

Pliskova fires Open warning shot

2017-01-17 06:43
Karolina Pliskova (Getty Images)

Melbourne - Fast-rising Czech star Karolina Pliskova breezed into the Australian Open second round on Tuesday with a straight-sets rout as she fired a warning shot to her Grand Slam rivals.

Ranked at a career-high five in the world, the tall and tattooed 24-year-old proved too hot to handle for Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo in blistering heat on Rod Laver Arena.

She showed no mercy in thrashing the 106th-ranked Spaniard 6-2, 6,0 to set up a clash with either Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova or Romanian Monica Niculescu.

"I was a little bit nervous as the first round is always a bit tough and I'm happy to be through," she said. "I feel good on court and excited to be back in Melbourne."

Pliskova, a US Open finalist last year, said ahead of the opening Grand Slam of the year that the Melbourne Park surface suited her game and it was the tournament that offered her the best chance for a maiden Grand Slam title.

She came into the event as a form player with victory at the lead-up Brisbane International, and has tasted victory in Melbourne before - winning the girl's singles title in 2010.

She traded blows early on against Sorribes Tormo, who was making her Australian Open debut, as she found her range before scoring the first break in the fourth game when the Spaniard slammed a backhand into the net.

Pliskova didn't look back as she turned the screws, breaking again for 5-1 before losing her focus and allowing Sorribes Tormo to stay in touch by breaking back.

But it was only a temporary blip as she took the set on a love service game next up.

Power-server Pliskova, last year's WTA aces leader, then raced through the second set in just 29 minutes as her opponent wilted.


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