Pliskova, Svitolina advance to Australian Open's third round
By JOHN PYE
AP Sports Writer
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Karolina Pliskova extended her winning start to the season by reaching the third round of the Australian Open after a rain-interrupted 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 victory Thursday over Madison Brengle.
The 2016 U.S. Open finalist started this year with a run to the title at the Brisbane International and entered the season's first major seeded seventh, still with a chance to regain the top ranking depending on her performance at Melbourne Park.
After dropping serve twice in the first set against Brengle, Pliskova completely dominated the second and third sets and capped it with a pair of aces.
"Some breaks, some good tennis, and some bad mistakes from me too," Pliskova said. "The first set wasn't very good from my side, but she played some good points and was very solid."
She'll next play No. 27 Camila Giorgi, who beat Iga Swiatek 6-2, 6-0.
Madison Keys, the 2017 U.S. Open finalist, had a 6-3, 6-4 win over Anastasia Potapova to set up a third-round match against No. 12-seeded Elise Mertens, who beat Margarita Gasparyan 6-1, 7-5.
Keys has reached the semifinals in three of the last five majors and is gaining in confidence in Australia.
In other early matches, WTA Finals winner Elina Svitolina beat Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-1 in 67 minutes, No. 13 Anastasija Sevastova beat teenage Canadian qualifier Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 and No. 21 Wang Qiang Wang had a 6-2, 6-3 win over Aleksandra Krunic.
Hsieh Su-wei advanced 6-3, 6-4 over Laura Siegemund, who had beaten two-time champion Victoria Azarenka in the first round.
Top-ranked Simona Halep was playing Sofia Kenin later Thursday, and seven-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams was set to meet Eugenie Bouchard in a night match.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic, a six-time Australian titlist, was playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a rematch of the 2008 final in the last match on Rod Laver Arena.
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