Melbourne - Karolina Pliskova wasted little time in getting
out of the heat and back to the sanctuary of the locker room with a 44-minute
Australian Open cruise on Thursday.
The tattooed sixth seed sped past Brazil's Beatriz Haddad
Maia 6-1, 6-1 as the mercury nudged towards a sweltering 39 Celsius (102
Farenheit) at Melbourne Park.
The Czech's serene progress will mark her out as one of the
favourites to win a first Grand Slam on a day when the draw lost number three
seed Garbine Muguruza and number nine Johanna Konta.
Pliskova next faces fellow Czech and 29th seed Lucie
Safarova, who also enjoyed a straightforward passage to the third round, 6-2,
6-4 against Sorana Cirstea of Romania.