Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova celebrates winning the match against France's Kristina Mladenovic - Reuters
Reuters: Second seed Karolina Pliskova got exactly what she needed in her 6-1 7-5 victory over a determined Kristina Mladenovic on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday to advance to the second round of the Australian Open.
Czech Pliskova will next play either Germany’s Laura Siegemund or American wildcard CoCo Vandeweghe.
Pliskova, a semi-finalist at Melbourne Park last year, was at her imperious best with her groundstrokes in a 25-minute first set she totally dominated despite a wayward serve.
Mladenovic, however, stepped up her game in the second, the 26-year-old Frenchwoman moving Pliskova around the court more and the Czech was forced to work harder for her points and improve a first serve that landed just 50% in the first set. She upped that to 78% in the second and won the points that mattered to continue a perfect start to 2020 after she won the Brisbane International title last week. “I think it was quite good for first match,” Pliskova told reporters. “Of course the match was not easy. So I think, yeah, it was a good test for a first round.”