Wimbledon: Karolina Pliskova ousts Victoria Azarenka in blockbuster clash

Wimbledon: Karolina Pliskova ousts Victoria Azarenka in blockbuster clash

Karolina Pliskova put up a stunning performance to defeat former world number one Victoria Azarenka in the second round of the Wimbledon Championships, triumphing with a straightforward 6-3, 6-3 scoreline.

don-han
Don Han

Karolina Pliskova finally broke the duck at the Wimbledon Championships with a stunning 6-3, 6-3 win over the resurgent former world number one Victoria Azarenka in their blockbuster second-round encounter, triumphing in a quick hour and 12-minutes to seal a spot in her first-ever appearance in the third round having fallen at this stage on five consecutive occasions.

Pliskova blasted 15 winners to just 10 unforced errors, playing a relatively clean match to oust the former Wimbledon semifinalist while Azarenka was surprisingly ineffective on the return, failing to earn a break point throughout the encounter and hitting 13 winners to a bulk of 17 unforced errors. Pliskova will now face a tricky opponent in Mihaela Buzarnescu in an attempt to make her first second-week appearance here at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Karolina Pliskova applauds the crowd after earning the 6-3, 6-3 win | Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe
Karolina Pliskova applauds the crowd after earning the 6-3, 6-3 win | Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe

Pliskova claims the opening set

Azarenka, who owned a dismal 2-4 win-loss record after her excellent run to the Miami Open semifinals, looked far from her best as she was unable to make a breakthrough on the solid Pliskova serve. The Belarusian even struggled in her opening service game, having to save three break point opportunities with some world-class controlled aggression, though.

A rare error on the backhand wing from the unusually-erratic Azarenka then saw her gift Pliskova with the first break of the day, ultimately allowing the consistent Czech to open a commanding 4-1 lead with an excellent one-two punch. Azarenka often got herself into trouble on her serve but recovered to save herself from the brink with her solid serving.

Victoria Azarenka had a slow start to the match, ultimately costing her the first set | Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe
Victoria Azarenka had a slow start to the match, ultimately costing her the first set | Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe

The slow start from Azarenka eventually proved costly with Pliskova not letting loose on her shots throughout the entire set, comfortably serving out the set to 15 after just 40 minutes and not facing a break point.

Pliskova grabs the impressive win

A spirited service hold by Azarenka opened the second set and unexpectedly, it was the Belarusian who had the first look at a break in the fourth game when Pliskova was brought to deuce on her serve on just the second occasion of the day. Nonetheless, an ace down-the-tee set up a game point which the world number eight ultimately converted.

Karolina Pliskova's game was firing on all cylinders throughout the match | Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe
Karolina Pliskova's game was firing on all cylinders throughout the match | Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe

The series of comfortable holds looked to continue but it was Azarenka who blinked first. Consecutive unforced errors by the former world number one saw her being broken for the first time in the set, allowing Pliskova to draw the first blood and lead by a set and a break. Excellent forehand winners then paved the way for the Czech to consolidate the break, storming out to a formidable 5-3 lead within a blink of an eye having clinched three consecutive games.

Pliskova then made it four, with Azarenka completely losing the plot and two double-faults derailed her rhythm — allowing the seventh seed to progress with a relatively comfortable 6-3, 6-3 win within just 72 minutes of play.

VAVEL Logo

Tennis News

3 days ago
8 days ago
8 days ago
9 days ago
10 days ago
11 days ago
11 days ago
12 days ago
12 days ago
13 days ago
16 days ago