Karolina eases through

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MI­AMI: Sec­ond seed Karolina Pliskova cruised into the third round of the Mi­ami Open, the Czech beat­ing Amer­i­can qual­i­fier Madi­son Bren­gle 6-1, 6-3 on Thurs­day.

While her serve was not at its best, the 25-year-old Karolina never looked in dan­ger, com­fort­ably dom­i­nat­ing while win­ning 78 per cent of re­turn points.

“There were a few tight games but I think I was pretty solid.

“It went quite easy and I was re­ally happy to spend only an hour out there be­cause its pretty hot and hu­mid and so I am happy to save some power for the later matches,” said Karolina.

“The serve wasn’t re­ally great and hasn’t been for the last few weeks but I think my game from the base­line was bet­ter, it’s im­prov­ing, my back­hand is bet­ter, I was feel­ing pretty good just want to im­prove the serve a bit now,” she added.

Karolina reached the semi-fi­nals of In­dian Wells last week and she said she was keen to avoid a re­peat of last year when she made the last four in Cal­i­for­nia but fell at the first hur­dle in Mi­ami.

“It’s a big tour­na­ment and I wanted to make it bet­ter this year. I will be ready for the next one,” said the Czech, whose twin sis­ter Kristyna is also in the Mi­ami field.

Slo­vakian fourth seed Do­minika Cibulkova needed to dig deep to fight past Paraguayan qual­i­fier Veron­ica Ce­pede Royg.

The 90-minute en­counter was far tougher for Do­minika than the 6-3, 6-2 score­line sug­gests and she was re­lieved with the win.

“I just stayed ag­gres­sive,” she said. “It was my first match here, so it was pretty hot and it wasn’t easy con­di­tions. But I made it through.

“I’d never played her be­fore, so that’s al­ways a new ex­pe­ri­ence. I’m glad I got the job done.”

Do­minika faces another tough test, though, against Bel­gian Kirsten Flip­kens, who fought her way past Croa­t­ian 29th seed Ana Kon­juh 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (6/8), 6-2.

Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska beat China’s Wang Qiang 7-6, 6-1 and Caro­line Woz­ni­acki com­fort­ably went through 6-1, 6-2 against Var­vara Lepchenko.

Sixth-seeded Spa­niard Gar­bine Mugu­ruza was trounced 6-0 in the first set by Amer­i­can op­po­nent Christina McHale and was down 3-2 on Christina’s serve in the sec­ond when rain be­gan.

Play was even­tu­ally can­celled for the day.

AFP PIC

Karolina Pliskova re­turns a shot against Madi­son Bren­gle at the Mi­ami Open on Thurs­day. Karolina won 6-1, 6-3.

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