US Open: Karolina Pliskova overcomes bumpy start to ease into round two
Pliskova dropped just four games on her way to round two (Image: Al Bello)

Karolina Pliskova overcame a bumpy opening set to eventually ease her way into the second round at the US Open, dropping just four games to world number 145 Anhelina Kalinina in a 6-4, 6-0 victory. 

There were signs of rust early on from Pliskova as she was broken in the very opening game, though did not allow Kalinina to consolidate her early advantage and eventually went on a run of four straight games to take a seemingly commanding lead on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Pliskova hit 26 winners and seven aces (Image: Al Bello)
Pliskova hit 26 winners and seven aces (Image: Al Bello)

Kalinina, however, was not going to go down without a fight. Down 1-4 the Ukranian held serve for the first time and managed to break for a second time, taking advantage of some uncharacteristic errors from the world number three. The top seed found herself in further trouble as she faced two break points at 4-4, though saved both to thwart Kalinina’s charge and broke for a third time the next game to take a tight opening set.

If the first was unexpectedly tight, the second seemingly went the way many would have been expecting the encounter to go. Having been surprisingly competitive in the opener, Kalinina was able to just win seven points in the second set; Pliskova broke three times and was untouchable on her own serve, sealing a eventually comfortable victory in an hour and two minutes. 

Kalinina was appearing in just her second Grand Slam main draw (Image: Al Bello)
Kalinina was appearing in just her second Grand Slam main draw (Image: Al Bello)

After an early loss to Veronika Kudermetova last week at the Western & Southern Open last week it was ideal for Pliskova to pick up a quick win in her opening match this tournament. Even though Kalinina may not have been able to provide a consistently stern test and it took her a while to get going it was overall a very strong performance from Pliskova who struck 26 winners to just 16 unforced errors, with just one error in the second set and seven aces throughout the contest .

The world number three, seeded first in the absence of Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep, will face Jasmine Paolini or Caroline Garcia in the second round as she looks to win her first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows. Her only previous major final came at Flushing Meadows four years ago. 

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