WTA Tour

Pliskova breezes into next round

Karolina Pliskova (AFP Photo)
Karolina Pliskova (AFP Photo)

Kuala Lumpur - Czech tennis star Karolina Pliskova has breezed into the second round of the BMW Malaysian Open on Tuesday with a straight-sets win, while China's Zhang Shuai also progressed.

The second-seeded Chinese, who is ranked 45th in the world, had a tougher time than Pliskova but in the end beat compatriot Zheng Saisai 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Pliskova, who won the competition last year for her only WTA title to date, thrashed Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic 6-2, 6-2 in a game that was postponed from Monday due to rain.

"It was a good warm-up to the tournament. Frankly, Aleksandra did not give me a fight, a routine win," the tournament's third seed said confidently.

Pliskova, 22, is ranked 75th in the world standings while Krunic is at 158.

In Tuesday's other games, fourth seed Patricia Mayr-Achleitner of Austria beat Japan's Eri Hozumi 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

It was also a bad day for Japan's fifth seed Kimiko Date-Krumm, who retired after Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey took a 5-3 lead..

The 113th-ranked Ayumi Morita, who used to be among the top 50 players in the world, lost 4-6, 2-6 to Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine.

Seventh seed Donna Vekic of Croatia had a poor start to her match against Chan Yung-Jan but eventually defeated the Taiwanese player 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan -- who is now world number 126 down from a career high of 23 in 2013 -- scraped through, triumphing over Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Pliskova's twin sister, Kristyna Pliskova, who is ranked 139th, beat higher-ranked Timea Babos of Hungary 7-6(8/6), 3-6, 6-4.

First-seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, who is 10th in the world, plays on Wednesday.

Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur often experiences heavy afternoon downpours that have marred play.

The tournament was also dealt an early setback when former world number one Venus Williams pulled out, reportedly due to a throat infection.

Results from the WTA Malaysian Open on Tuesday (x denotes seeding):

First round:
Giulia Gatto-Monticone (ITA) bt Ons Jabeur (TUN) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
Donna Vekic (CRO x7) bt Chan Yung-Jan (TPE) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR) bt Ayumi Morita (JPN x8) 6-4, 6-2
Zarina Diyas (KAZ x6) bt Eleni Daniilidou (GRE) 6-2, 6-2
Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 7-6(8/6), 3-6, 6-4
Karolina Pliskova (CZE x3) bt Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 6-2, 6-2
Duan Ying-Ying (CHN) bt Ana Vrljic (CRO) 6-3, 6-2
Magda Linette (POL) bt Alize Lim (FRA) 6-3, 6-0
Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) bt Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) bt Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN x5) 5-3 retired
Patricia Mayr-Achleitner (AUT x4) bt Eri Hozumi (JPN) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
Zhang Ling (HKG) bt Olga Savchuk (UKR) 6-3, 6-2
Zhang Shuai (CHN x2) bt Zheng Saisai (CHN) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
Tadeja Majeric (SLO) bt Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) 4-6, 6-2, 6-0

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