Kristyna Pliskova jolts Roberta Vinci to advance in Dubai

By The Sports Xchange  |  Feb. 20, 2017 at 2:34 AM
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Kristyna Pliskova isn't as well known as her twin sister but delivered quite the opening-round salvo at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Sunday.

Pliskova was close to losing in straight sets to 16th-seeded Roberta Vinci before recovering to defeat the Italian 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the second round.

Pliskova is ranked 58th in the world -- her sister Karolina is ranked third in the world and seeded second in Dubai -- but recorded a stirring comeback to slay Vinci.

Vinci was serving for the match with a 5-4 lead in the second before Pliskova won the next three games to win the set. The Czech Republic native then was the stronger player in the decisive third set.

"I was trying to fight the whole match, but sometimes you play bad games," Pliskova said. "I tried to be more aggressive and she made some mistakes."

Pliskova's victory wasn't Sunday's only first-round upset as Tunisian qualifier Ons Jabeur stunned 14th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-4.

The other two seeded players who were in action advanced.

Australian Samantha Stosur, seeded 12th, recorded a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Chinas Kai-Lin Zhang, while 15th-seeded Caroline Garcia of France notched a 6-3, 6-3 win over Sweden's Johanna Larsson.

Among other first-round matches, Mona Barthel rolled to a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Jelena Jankovic of Serbia. Barthel's second-round match will be against fellow German Angelique Kerber, the top-seeded player who can regain the World No. 1 ranking by winning the Dubai title.

"It's such a strong tournament, featuring the best players in the world, so it's always tough," Barthel told reporters. "I'm really happy to have won the first round, and I know playing Angelique won't be easy. But I have nothing to lose so I'll try to go out there and just enjoy."

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