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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Australian Open Day 4: Pliskova wins ‘ugly’, Halep storms through to third round

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.

By: Reuters | Updated: January 23, 2020 3:42:45 pm
Karolina Pliskova in action during the match against Germany’s Laura Siegemund (Source: 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.

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.

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

HALEP BLOWS AWAY DART

Romanian fourth seed Simona Halep powered into the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday, defeating British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-2 6-4 in only 77 minutes.

Windy conditions on Rod Laver Arena saw the pair trading breaks of serve at the start of the match before Halep steadied the ship, winning four games in a row before serving out the set.

The two-times Grand Slam champion wavered slightly as she failed to serve out the match while 5-2 up in the final set, but she completed the job at the second time of asking to set up a meeting with either 26th seed American Danielle Collins or Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.

Despite the loss, Dart’s performance was a marked improvement on her appearance at last year’s Open, when she was beaten by Maria Sharapova in the opening round without winning a single game.

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