Tennis: Pliskova shocks Kvitova in all-Czech clash

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Unseeded Kristyna Pliskova rallied from a dismal start to topple fellow lefthanded Czech Petra Kvitova 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 in the second round of the WTA Charleston tournament on Wednesday.

Pliskova blasted six aces and broke Kvitova's serve six times in the two-hour match. She won just 13 of 34 points on her serve in a one-sided first set that went to world No. 10 Kvitova.

"My serve was horrible in the first set, so I had to focus on my serve and the rest of the game was better as well," southpaw Pliskova said.

Pliskova moves onto the third round where she will face No.16 seed Elena Vesnina, who eased past Taylor Townsend 6-4, 6-1.

Pliskova's win over the two-time Wimbledon champion is her second victory over a top 10 player this year, following a win over world number seven Jelena Ostapenko in China.

Kvitova committed 44 unforced errors with most of them coming in the final two sets. She broke Pliskova's serve five times but made nine double faults overall. It is the first time she has lost to a Czech compatriot since 2012.

"I'm really happy, it's my second top 10 win this year, but also it's against Petra," Pliskova said. "She's playing so well against Czech players, so I'm happy I broke her streak."

After failing to hold serve even once in the opening set, Pliskova got to work in the second, winning four consecutive games to take the set.

In the third she broke early to take a 2-0 lead then got another break to go up 5-1. Pliskova squandered six match points before finally finishing it off on the seventh one.

In other matches, Naomi Osaka of Japan outlasted Germany's Laura Siegemund 6-3, 7-6 (10/8) and Latvian eighth seed Anastasija Sevastova needed three sets to beat Caroline Dolehide of the USA 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1.