Australian Open: Kristina Kucova eases past Christina McHale

Kristina Kucova reached the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Christina McHale.

Kucova wins marathon opening set

The opening game of the match set the tone for the set as McHale was able to save a break point in the 20 point marathon. Her next service game was 14 points and she needed to stave off three more break points to keep her nose in front. Those saves proved valuable as she broke to 15 for a 4-2 lead.

It was to be another monumental game on the American's serve and at the end of the 24 point epic, Kucova converted on her seventh break point of the game to get the set back on serve. She grabbed the key break in the ninth game, coming from 30-0 down to take a 5-4 lead and when she held to love to wrap up the set, the Slovak had taken 12 of the final 14 points in the 64-minute set.

Second set proves to be no contest as Kucova blasts her way into the second round

In stark contrast to the first set, the second set was a blowout, Kucova barely losing points, the effect of the grueling opener taking its toll on McHale. Kucova lost just eight points, converted on three of her four break chances and was never pushed beyond 30 in any of her service games.

The scoreline was eerily similar to the last meeting between these two as Kucova ran out a 6-0, 6-4 winner in Montreal qualifying, the tournament that made the Slovak a household name as she reached the semifinals. Next up is 32nd seed Anastasija Sevastova in the second round.