January 23, 2020 / 5:11 AM / 6 months ago

Pliskova wins 'ugly match' to move into third round in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Karolina Pliskova extended her winning streak on Thursday, dispatching Germany’s Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-3 to advance to the third round of the Australian Open.

Tennis - Australian Open - Second Round - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 23, 2020 Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova in action during the match against Germany's Laura Siegemund REUTERS/Edgar Su

The Czech second seed is undefeated this year after winning six straight matches including the title at the Brisbane International earlier this month.

“For sure, the off-season I think was good. I did a lot of work, and I was feeling good in Brisbane,” Pliskova told reporters.

“I like Australia. I always play well here. Of course it’s only third round now, but I have played a lot of matches already, so I feel confident. I feel good enough to continue.”

Pliskova, who made the semi-finals in Melbourne last year, expressed relief after coming through what she described as “an ugly match” against Siegemund who had won their only previous meeting in 2017.

The 72nd-ranked Siegemund at times challenged Pliskova with her variety and skills at the net, but ultimately could not match the Czech’s serving and power from the baseline.

“I think against her (Siegemund), you’re never gonna feel amazing because she tries to play a lot of styles, a lot of dropshots, slice,” Pliskova said.

“I think she just wanted me to feel this way, but I think I was just doing okay and just staying on my side of the court, being positive enough.”

Pliskova was down 1-3 at the start of the match but immediately recovered, reeling off five games in a row to take the first set.

A missed dropshot by Siegemund early in the second set gave Pliskova the break and the Czech served out the victory after 86 minutes on court.

She will next face either Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or American Taylor Townsend.

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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