The 18th player and the 19th player in the world went head to head this evening at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. The former, Karolina Pliskova, has won four straight matches against the latter, Ana Ivanovic, and she didn't look to give up that perfect record here. It only took the Czech rising star an hour and six minutes to beat the former French Open champion and Serbian tennis star Ana Ivanovic. This was the Serbian's fifth straight loss against the big serving player from the Czech Republic.
Pliskova Takes Tight Opening Set
The match started out in expected fashion, both hard hitters going for their shots and making their opponent cover the court. Ivanovic, who elected to serve, immediately faced a double-break point in the first game. The Serb was trying to serve big first and second serves, because she knew that Pliskova would take all of her opportunities to attack the weakest part in the Ivanovic game, the serve. This resulted in a marathon first game, but multiple double faults from Ivanovic would give Pliskova the break and the 1-0 lead. Ivanovic, though, was looking to break straight back, a couple of winners from the Serb would help her break to love to even the score at 1-1. Pliskova again raced to two break points on the Ivanovic serve.
She could save one, but not the other, as Pliskova again moved into a break lead. The Serb, down 1-2, got herself in a position to break back as she fired multiple forehand winners. But the big-serving Pliskova wouldn't squander her lead again, saving the two break points and winning four points in a row to consolidate the break for a 3-1 lead. Despite being down a break, the Serbian wasn't out yet, a forehand winner from the Ivanovic demonstrating just that as she held for 3-2 in favor of the Czech. As Pliskova tried to maintain the break lead, she started to hit unforced errors, allowing Ivanovic back in. Another unforced error from Pliskova would get the Serb the break back for 3-3. The next game was the exact opposite, though, as it was Ivanovic now who was making the errors. A unforced error from Ivanovic would allow the Czech to break, and get a 4-3 lead.
Both ladies would then hold their own serves, Pliskova getting out of a tight game while Ivanovic held her serve to love. Down 4-5, Ivanovic again put pressure on the Czech's serves. But Pliskova again pulled through as multiple unforced errors from Ivanovic handed the Czech the opening set 6-4.
Pliskova Takes Early Lead And Books Place In Quarterfinals.
The Czech would start out the set in fine fashion, breaking Ivanovic to love in the very first game. Pliskova then consolidated the break with another game to love as she got the 2-0 lead. Multiple backhand errors from the Serb helped the Czech break to love, and get another break lead. Up 3-0, the Czech then consolidated the break as her forehand, as well as her serve, was too good for the Serb. A couple of winners from Ivanovic helped her hold her serve, but she was down 1-4. Ivanovic then pushed the Czech to deuce, but a forehand unforced error that went straight in the net signified what day she had. Despite being one game away from losing the match, the Serbian tennis star held as Pliskova tightened and let errors into her game. Up 5-2, Pliskova played some excellent tennis to get closer to losing it out. Ivanovic pushed her to 30-30, but a trademark ace from the Czech earned her a match point. A forehand unforced error that just went wide from Ivanovic would give Pliskova the game and the match, 6-4, 6-2.
Pliskova made 70 percent of her first serves in, and she won 65 percent of her first serve points. Ivanovic, though, only made in 60% of her first serves in, and she too won 65 percent of those points. Pliskova had a whooping 10 aces, while Ivanovic only had 1. While as Pliskova had only one double-fault, the Serbian had four. The Czech converted 50 percent of herbreak points (5 of 10) while Ivanovic was 33% for break points (2 of 6).
Karolina Pliskova's next opponent will be Agnieszka Radwanska, the top seed from Poland. Radwanska had to do more work today then Pliskova, though, as she had to come back from a set behind to beat German Andrea Petkovic 1-6, 6-1, 6-2.