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Karolina Pliskova serves her way past Lucie Safarova into Rd 4 of Australian Open tennis

Karolina Pliskova defeated fellow Czech Lucie Safarova to make the Australian Open tennis fourth round on Saturday in a testing two-set encounter.

tennis Updated: Jan 20, 2018 09:33 IST
Reuters, Melbourne
Karolina Pliskova,Australian Open,tennis
Karolina Pliskova defeated Lucie Safarova 7-6(6), 7-5 to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open tennis tournament.(AP)

Sixth seed Karolina Pliskova beat fellow Czech Fed Cup team mate Lucie Safarova 7-6(6), 7-5 to move into the fourth round of the Australian Open tennis tournament on Saturday.

In a match dominated by serve the 25-year-old fired down 11 aces and offered up only one break point opportunity as she reached the last 16 for the second successive year.

(Read | Madison Keys glides into last 16 at Australian Open tennis)

Safarova was equally efficient on her own delivery but finally cracked in the 11th game of the second set to leave her opponent with the opportunity to serve for the match.

She needed no second invitation, crunching three aces including one on match point.

(Read | Nick Kyrgios takes down idol Jo-Wilfired Tsonga to reach Australian Open Rd 4)

“It’s tough to play another Czech player especially as we are Fed Cup team mates,” Pliskova said on Margaret Court Arena. “It’s always close but I served well and that’s the key for me.”

Another Czech could be waiting in the fourth round if Barbora Strycova gets the better of lucky loser Bernarda Pera later on Saturday.

Garcia sets up Keys clash

Eighth seed Caroline Garcia battled into the last 16 of the Australian Open Saturday to set up clash with the dangerous Madison Keys for a place in the quarters-finals.

(Read | Rafael Nadal cruises into Australian Open 4th round with win over Damir Dzumhur)

The Frenchwoman, who won two WTA titles last year to send her rocketing up the rankings, proved too much for unseeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, winning 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 on Hisense Arena.

She will now play American 17th seed Keys who continued her steady progress through the draw with a 6-3, 6-4 win over unseeded Ana Bogdan.

“Madison has been going great and it is going to be big hitting from both sides,” Garcia said of her next opponent.

“I haven’t done too well against her before and I want to improve.”

First Published: Jan 20, 2018 09:29 IST