Sport Tennis Australian Open 2019: Pliskova starts in style

Australian Open 2019: Pliskova starts in style

Karolina Pliskovaat Melbourne Park. Photo: Getty
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Karolina Pliskova has continued her unbeaten start to 2019 with a commanding first-round Australian Open win at Melbourne Park.

The seventh seed had too many guns for fellow Czech Karolina Muchova, ending the qualifier’s run in 69 minutes with a 6-3 6-2 victory on Tuesday.

Pliskova pulled out of last week’s Sydney International after winning her season-opening event in Brisbane and reaped the rewards with a polished start to her Open campaign.

In addition to five aces, Pliskova clubbed 21 winners to book a meeting on Thursday with either American Madison Brengle or Japanese qualifier Misaki Doi.

“I was hitting great even in the warm up. I think it’s a good start,” said the 2016 US Open runner-up and former Melbourne Park junior girls’ champion after claiming her sixth win of the year in Australia.

“I feel happy here. I don’t know why. I always love playing here.”

Another former Flushing Meadows finalist also progressed on Tuesday, with American 17th seed Madison Keys taking out young Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava 6-2 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

It was Keys’ first match of 2019.

“I was having issues with my knee towards the end of last year and I ran out of time (to play any lead-up tournaments),” she said.

“Mostly I’m just happy that I did most things pretty well.”

Keys will play either Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier or Russian Anastasia Potapova for a place in the third round.