Pliskova, Kerber into second-round in Stuttgart
Issued on: Modified:
Stuttgart (Germany) (AFP) –
Former world number ones Karolona Pliskova and Angelique Kerber came through their first-round matches in Stuttgart on Wednesday with differing experiences as both played their first clay-court matches this season.
Pliskova, 29, had to dig deep after losing the second set to German Tamara Korpatsch before sealing a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 victory.
The Czech Republic star, currently ninth in the world, admitted struggling before setting up a second-round match against Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko on Thursday.
"I'm super happy that I'm through, but other than that I didn’t see many really good things," said Pliskova.
"I was struggling a bit in the rally. I thought there were too many errors from easy balls, but my serve was quite ok.
"First rounds are always a bit nervous, especially a first match on clay.
"I’m just going to hope it’s going to be better."
Pliskova is on course to meet world number one Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Barty, the top seed, makes her first appearance later against former Stuttgart champion Laura Siegemund in their second round tie.
Earlier, three-time Grand Slam winner Kerber breezed into the second round, sweeping aside Georgia's Ekaterine Gorgodze in a 6-2, 6-2 victory.
"That wasn't a bad way to start the clay-court season, she wasn't an easy opponent and I had a solid game," said Germany's Kerber.
The 33-year-old, who has dropped to 26 in the world rankings, expects a "tough match" on Thursday against fourth-seed Ukranian Elina Svitolina, who has won all of their last six meetings.
© 2021 AFP