Tennis ace Karolina Pliskova crashes while top seed Angelique Kerber fights back
Madrid — World No 3 Karolina Pliskova was dumped out of the second round of the Madrid Open on Monday 6-3 6-3 by Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova.
However, top seed Angelique Kerber fought back from 5-3 down in the deciding set to avoid a similar fate as she overcame Katerina Siniakova 6-2 1-6 7-5 to set up a potential third round match with Maria Sharapova.
Second seed Pliskova has struggled on the clay after a fine start to the season on the hard courts of Australia and the US.
Following early exits in Stuttgart and on home soil in Prague last week, world No22 Sevastova’s run of seven straight games from 3-2 down in the first set to lead by a set and 3-0 was decisive.
Sevastova was solid on serve throughout and needed just one break in the second set and she served out to set up a meeting with Barbora Strycova or Lara Arruabarrena in the third round.
Kerber has also had an inconsistent season and her fragile form was on show in the course of the first two sets.
The German romped through the opening set in 27 minutes but then had to save six break points for her only game in the second.
Siniakova served for the match at 5-4 in the deciding set, but Kerber showed impressive fight to win the last four games.
Next up Kerber will face the winner of Sharapova’s grudge match with Eugenie Bouchard in Monday night’s late session as the Russian continues her comeback from a doping ban.
Rafael Nadal has asked to begin his participation in the Madrid Open a day later than planned due to an ear infection, meaning he will face Italian Fabio Fognini on Wednesday.
Nadal is seeking a third consecutive claycourt title of the season after winning the Barcelona Open and Monte Carlo Masters but his preparation for the tournament in the Spanish capital has been interrupted by the infection.
"On Friday I woke up at three in the morning with pain, a discomfort I had never felt before," the 14-time Grand Slam winner told a news conference on Monday.