September 2, 2017 / 7:07 AM / 2 years ago

No room for complacency as Pliskova faces Zhang

Aug 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic celebrates after match point against Nicole Gibbs of the United States on day four of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Even if she has a perfect record against Zhang Shuai, there is little chance that Karolina Pliskova will take anything for granted when the world number one faces the Chinese 27th seed in the U.S. Open third round on Saturday.

The fact that she dropped a set in the previous round and Zhang’s recent results mean the Czech will be on her guard as she kicks off the day on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Zhang, who has one career title to her name, the 2013 Guangzhou International Open, has never beaten Pliskova in four meetings, losing 6-2 6-0 in their previous match in Doha.

But the Chinese has impressed in her previous tournament, beating three-times New Haven champion Petra Kvitova in the opening round of the Connecticut Open last month.

Pliskova’s pace, however, should help her prevail as Zhang is a pure baseliner who might struggle to keep the rhythm against the tall Czech.

Pliskova, however, admitted that she sometimes had problems to stay composed.

“I still have some nerves in myself,” she said.

“In every match, I have to win. There is enough pressure on me. They’re outsiders, so they’re always going to play well against me, so that’s also the thing.

“I’m just kind of slow in the beginning, so I just need some time to get the rhythm and get in the game.”

Reporting by Julien Pretot,; Editing by Ed Osmond

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