Pliskova exacts revenge on Collins as familiar foe awaits
MELBOURNE—Former world number one Karolina Pliskova conceded she played far from her best tennis at the Australian Open on Thursday, but excelled in clutch moments to avenge a loss to Danielle Collins in a warm-up tournament just eight days ago.
Pliskova, seeded sixth, lost serve twice in a see-saw opening set but pulled away in the second to book a place in the third round with a 7-5 6-2 win over American Collins, a 2019 Australian Open semi-finalist.
After winning last week’s contest at the Yarra Valley Classic in two tightly-contested tiebreakers, Collins leaked errors from her normally reliable forehand, allowing Pliskova to take control late in the first set.
“I don’t think was really good quality today. I think I just played better in some moments, which I didn’t last week,” Pliskova said.
“I knew if I just play at least similar as I was playing last week, I knew it’s going to be difficult for her to repeat what she played last week.
“It was more about like staying positive, staying in there. I knew I’m going to have some chances, which I did.”
Up next for Pliskova, who is chasing her maiden Grand Slam title, is fellow Czech and 25th seed Karolina Muchova.
The two are friends off the court and practised together during a mandatory two-week quarantine period before the Australian Open.
“Even if we would not practise those two weeks in quarantine, we practice a lot in Czech. We’re actually quite good friends,” Pliskova said.
“Of course, she’s a dangerous player. It’s going to be very tricky.”