US Open: Karolina Pliskova survives scare, Nishikori storms into second round

Updated: Aug 27, 2019, 12:29 IST | AFP |

Pliskova, who has a chance to finish the Flushing Meadows fortnight as world number one, held off 138th-ranked Czech qualifier Tereza Martincova 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) after an hour and 46 minutes

Karolina Pliskova returns to Tereza Martincova yesterday. Pic/AFP
Karolina Pliskova returns to Tereza Martincova yesterday. Pic/AFP

New York: Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova struggled into the second round of the US Open yesterday while 2014 runner-up Kei Nishikori of Japan needed only 47 minutes to advance.

Pliskova, who has a chance to finish the Flushing Meadows fortnight as world number one, held off 138th-ranked Czech qualifier Tereza Martincova 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) after an hour and 46 minutes. "It's tough to play Tereza," Pliskova said. "We never played and especially tough to play in the first round. "Not my best performance today for sure, and she made some great shots." Seventh seed Nishikori reached the men's second round 6-1, 4-1, when 205th-ranked Argentine qualifier Marco Trungelliti retired with a back injury.

"It's a little bit sad to see. He's a great player," a consoling Nishikori said of his stricken opponent. "For me, I played great tennis from the beginning and I'm happy with the way I played today." Afternoon matches include top-seeded defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia facing Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena and reigning French Open champion Ashleigh Barty, the second seed from Australia, facing Zarina Diyas.

Pliskova and her compatriot exchanged breaks of serve through the first six games of their match, Martincova breaking again for a 5-4 edge and coming within two points of taking the set before Pliskova rallied and broke back to equalize at 5-5. Pliskova took the first tie-breaker with forehand winners on the final two points, then squandered a 3-0 edge in the second set before taking the final four points of the last tie-break, smashing a service winner to claim the match.

"Not happy that I lost three breaks of serve in a row. That's not possible for next time," Pliskova said. "I'm happy I could get through."

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