Pliskova aces Wozniacki

Karolina Pliskova (above) is expecting a tough match against her next White Group opponent Elina Svitolina, who beat Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 yesterday.
Karolina Pliskova (above) is expecting a tough match against her next White Group opponent Elina Svitolina, who beat Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 yesterday.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Ace Queen's serves get her out of trouble and she also dominates her rival from the baseline

The last time Caroline Wozniacki and Karolina Pliskova played against each other, the latter squandered several chances in the first set and eventually lost that semi-final 7-6 (11-9), 6-3 as her opponent went on to win the 2017 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

Almost a year later, the pair faced off again in the same tournament and at the same venue, except that this time, Pliskova saved all the 10 break points she faced en route to her 6-2, 6-4 win over the Dane.

Known as the Ace Queen, it was not just Pliskova's serves which got her out of trouble on the opening day of the US$7 million (S$9.65 million) tournament at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The 26-year-old, whose right calf was bandaged, dominated Wozniacki from the baseline in the first set, sending her scurrying to different corners.

The second set was a closer affair. Pliskova broke serve to start the set after consulting her coach Rennae Stubbs at the changeover.

But the defending champion held strong, fending off two match points at 3-5 to stay in the set.

Serving for the match at 5-4, Pliskova saved two break points before closing it out with an ace.

  • TODAY'S ORDER OF PLAY

  • 7.30PM

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The Czech, who had trailed their head-to-head 3-6 entering the tournament, said during her courtside interview: "(The) last time we played it was here and I remember that first set - I had some set points so I just believed I had a chance because it was a very good match last year so I tried my best today.

"I felt pretty good from the baseline today... I think the game was pretty solid from my side. I'm just happy with my performance today."

Later at the press conference, when asked about her 10 saved break points, Pliskova grinned and said: "10 of 10, I know. I think that's the best statistic on my serve on the break points, ever."

She is expecting a tough match against her next opponent Elina Svitolina, who beat Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 yesterday. They will play their next White Group match tomorrow, while Wozniacki will face Kvitova.

  • 10/10

    Break points Karolina Pliskova saved in ousting Caroline Wozniacki.

Last night, it was Wozniacki's turn to lament her missed chances.

"I think I had break points in almost every single one of her service games and I didn't get any one of them," said the Australian Open champion.

"That was kind of disappointing... there were times when I played really well and I was trying to move her around, but there were also times when I just didn't time the ball perfectly and it didn't go the way I wanted."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2018, with the headline 'Pliskova aces Wozniacki'. Print Edition | Subscribe