Defending champion Karolina Pliskova was looking to continue the quest to defend her title facing Katerina Siniakova in the second round at the J&T Banka Prague Open. The wildcard had a good win over Alize Cornet in the first round while Pliskova breezed through her clash with Stefanie Voegele.
The 2015 tournament champion resumed where she left off cruising through the first set. The second set was much closer but despite Siniakova’s best efforts she was not able to prevent Pliskova from carving out a 6-2, 6-4 straight sets victory.
Pliskova capitalizes on Siniakova's poor start to sail through
Pliskova got off to a lightning start breaking at the first opportunity and consolidating with ease for a 2-0 lead. The defending champion then got the double break for a comfortable 3-0 lead. Siniakova was settling in though and Pliskova’s level dropped a little allowing her compatriot to pull one break back for 1-3. Siniakova then began hitting with confidence to close the gap to 2-3.
Pliskova maintained her two game cushion before finding break points after a stray forehand from Siniakova in the seventh game. The 19-year-old held off one but could not stop a searing forehand down the line winner from Pliskova who broke for 5-2. Siniakova was still fighting and saved a couple of set points but was not able to save a third as Pliskova closed out the set 6-2.
Pliskova edges a close second set
The wildcard got off to a better start in the second set as she held her service game comfortably. The match then started to heat up in the third game as Pliskova stepped up her level firing winners with ease before blasting a cross court winner for break point. Siniakova though responded coolly with a backhand down the line winner of her own. However, subsequent errors cost her the game allowing Pliskova to go 2-1 ahead.
Siniakova wasn’t going anywhere though landing an exquisite drop shot for an opportunity to get the break back. And she got it done following a forehand error into the net by the defending champion to tie the set 2-2. The 19-year-old followed it up with some good defensive display to go ahead for the first time for 3-2.
Siniakova’s service game was in trouble again in the seventh game as Pliskova kept creating break opportunities. The 19-year-old continued saving them but eventually it was one too many as after saving four of them she went down on the fifth one to give Pliskova a 4-3 lead. The wildcard did have a chance to break back testing the defending champion. Pliskova though hung on to her lead for 5-3 before sealing the match on her own serve.
Up next for Pliskova
Camila Giorgi awaits the third seed in the quarterfinals after she had beat Virginie Razzano in straight sets. Pliskova leads the head-to-head 3-2.