February 26, 2021

Pliskova and Kerber prevail in first round

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Serena Williams commences her bid to secure a 24th Grand Slam title on Tuesday

By Emma Thurston

Last Updated: 31/08/20 7:19pm

Karolina Pliskova was the first to take to court on Arthur Ashe Stadium Karolina Pliskova was the first to take to court on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Karolina Pliskova was the first to take to court on Arthur Ashe Stadium

Top seed Karolina Pliskova and former champion Angelique Kerber both opened their US Open campaigns on Monday with straight-sets victories.

The duo were part of a packed day one schedule, which included Naomi Osaka, Coco Gauff and Petra Martic.

Serena Williams commences her quest to secure a 24th Grand Slam title on Tuesday against Kristie Ahn. Johanna Konta and Heather Watson will also face off against each other later that day.

Pliskova opened her account by dropping serve in her first game, before recovering well to quickly push past Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina.

The Czech world No 3, promoted to top seed after the withdrawals of Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep, took just over an hour to secure her 6-4 6-0 result.

Pliskova’s potent serving, which included seven aces and winning 83 per cent of points on her first serve, created the backbone for victory. She will meet Caroline Garcia in the second round.

Former champion Angelique Kerber prevailed over Ajla Tomljanovic in the opening round Former champion Angelique Kerber prevailed over Ajla Tomljanovic in the opening round

Former champion Angelique Kerber prevailed over Ajla Tomljanovic in the opening round

Kerber, who is once again working under the guidance of coach Torben Beltz, kick-started her Slam with an athletic 6-4 6-4 victory over Ajla Tomljanovic.

Prior to the WTA Tour’s pause, the 2016 US Open champion was dealing with a leg injury and despite not taking part in last week’s Western & Southern Open, she was clinical when she needed to be.

Kerber converted all five of the break points that she created and her win means that she will face either Caroline Dolehide or her compatriot Anna-Lena Friedsam in the second round.

Marketa Vondrousova had the honour of being the first winner at the Slam, after she took just 63 minutes to record her 6-1 6-4 result against Greet Minnen.

The 2019 French Open runner-up made the most a plethora of errors from Minnen, 25 in total, and was potent when she came forwards to the net.

Vondrousova’s second round opponent will be Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who came from a set down to secure her victory.

Sasnovich was not at the races in the first set against Francesca Di Lorenzo and lost it convincingly by 6-2. After edging the second set tie-break 8-6, she finally put the pedal to the metal in the third with a 6-0 set.

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