Australian Open: Kristyna Pliskova edges Viktorija Golubic in three sets

Australian Open: Kristyna Pliskova edges Viktorija Golubic in three sets

A last-gasp break gave the Czech an opening round win in Melbourne.

john-lupo
John Lupo

Kristyna Pliskova defeated Viktorija Golubic 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 and advance to the second round of the Australian Open.

Pliskova wins first set with late break

It was a scratchy start from both players on serve as the first three games went the way of the returner, Pliskova striking a clean forehand winner to achieve the third and final break. With the Czech up 3-1 after a hold, she had a half-chance to make it 4-1, getting to deuce on Golubic's serve but the Swiss won the next two points to hold and stay within touch.

Pliskova plays a forehand/Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images
Pliskova plays a forehand/Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images

The set went according to form, the server holding until the ninth game. That was when Pliskova built a 0-40 lead, bringing up three set points. Golubic saved the first two, but she couldn't save the third as the Czech took the opening set on a backhand floated long by the Swiss.

Golubic wins second set behind three breaks, solid returning

It appeared that Pliskova would run away with the match, holding to 15 and breaking for a 2-0 lead. Golubic was able to find her footing and she broke back to get the set back on serve. After another hold, the Swiss made her move.

Goulbic plays a backhand in Melbourne/Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images
Goulbic plays a backhand in Melbourne/Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images

A long game gave Golubic three opportunities to break, which she eventually cashed in on when Pliskova missed a forehand wide. Another break was to come in the Czech's next service game and at 5-2 ahead, the 62nd-ranked Swiss served out the set to 15, taking six games on the trot to force a deciding third set.

Pliskova grabs closing break to win match, advance

Golubic called the trainer at 0-1 in the third set and after receiving treatment, she carried on, seemingly fine. The first chances of the final set fell to the Swiss in the fifth game, three break points to take the lead, but Pliskova saved all of them.

With the Czech ahead 4-3, she broke and now had an opportunity to serve out the match only to see Golubic return the favour, breaking to love. With the set back on serve, the Swiss faced match point at 30-40 and when her forehand limply went into the net, Pliskova had wrapped up the victory and a date with 27th seed Irina-Camelia Begu in the second round.

Pliskova celebrates her victory in Melbourne/Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images
Pliskova celebrates her victory in Melbourne/Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images

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