Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pliskova on track to defend Cincinnati title

Pliskova on track to defend Cincinnati title

Karolina Pliskova scored a 6-2 6-3 win over Natalia Vikhlyantseva in the second round of the Cincinnati Open on Wednesday.

Angelique Kerber lost 6-4 1-6 7-6 to Ekaterina Makarova and Venus Williams was upset 6-3 2-6 6-2 by Ashleigh Barty in second-round matches.

Barty will face former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, a 6-2 6-4 winner against Russia's Elena Vesnina, in the last 16.

Top seed Pliskova rose to the occasion on the key points.

She saved all five break points she faced, while losing just three points behind her first serve against the Russian, who reached her first WTA final at Den Bosch in June.

Last year Pliskova beat Kerber in the Cincinnati final, stopping the German from ascending to number one with the biggest victory of her career up to then.

Pliskova went on to have a brilliant Flushing Meadows run, beating both Venus and Serena Williams on the way to the final, sparking a consistent stretch that helped her succeed Kerber atop the rankings after Wimbledon.

Next up for her is a third-round match against Camila Giorgi, who beat Daria Gavrilova 7-6 5-7 6-3.

Madison Keys beat Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-1 to reach the last 16, where she will face Garbine Muguruza.

Sloane Stephens defeated Petra Kvitova, who was bothered by pain in her right thigh, to reach the third round with a 6-2 6-3 win.

Stephens beat Kvitova last week in three sets in Toronto on her way to the semi-finals.

Up next for Stephens will be the on-form Makarova.

Info from Yahoo
Photo by USA TODAY Sports


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