Sport Tennis Australian Open Konta, Pliskova plough into Australian Open third round
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Konta, Pliskova plough into Australian Open third round

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Britain's Johanna Konta eased into the third round with a straight-sets win. Photo: AAP
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British tennis star Johanna Konta has advanced to the third round of the Australian Open with a straight-sets win over Japan’s Naomi Osaka.

Konta, who won this year’s Sydney International, triumphed 6-4, 6-2 over Osaka to set up a potential third-round clash with Caroline Wozniacki.

In the morning’s other matches, Czech fifth-seed Karolina Pliskova was untroubled in a 6-0, 6-2 win over Russia’s Anna Blinkova.

Russian 30th seed Ekaterina Makarova also progressed, beating Italy’s Sara Errani who retired down 6-2, 3-2 in the second set.

Meantime fifth seed Karolina Pliskova from the Czech Republic has proved she’s in career-best form by dropping just two games on her way into the third round.

The Brisbane International champion continued her flawless start to 2017 with a 6-0, 6-2 win over young Russian Anna Blinkova on Thursday.

Last year’s US Open finalist struck nine aces and another 15 winners past the 18-year-old, who appeared unsettled in the first set.

The nervous Blinkova faulted on 21 of her 23 first serves in the first set and offered the world No.5 too many chances to attack and break serve.

Rarely threatened on serve, Pliskova was taken to deuce just twice and faced just one break point.

With her 59-minute victory, she has clocked up just two hours of playing time and dropped just four games at Melbourne Park this year.

However, she’s wary of talking up her title chances so early in the tournament.

“People are saying I have a good chance to win a grand slam but we are just in the third round so let’s see,” Pliskova said after the match.

“The third round is definitely going to be more tough than the first two.”

The third-round berth equals her results at the past two Australian Opens.

Pliskova, who has only moved past the third round of a grand slam on one occasion, awaits the winner of Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia and Kazakhstan’s No.31 seed Yulia Putintseva.

“I’m expecting a tough match, but hopefully I can still improve my level and play it a bit better,” Pliskova said.

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