Friday, January 19, 2018 | ePaper
Pliskova's twin powers through in Tokyo
Fourth seed Kristyna Pliskova, twin sister of world number one Karolina, fired down 14 aces to see off Taiwan's Chang Kai-chen in straight sets Monday in the Japan Women's Open.
The Czech, a wildcard entry to the $250,000 Tokyo tournament, came through her first-round match 7-5, 7-5 despite a sluggish start in humid conditions.
"My serve helped me today," said Pliskova, who holds the record for the most aces in a match on the women's WTA Tour with 31.
"It's always tough after a Grand Slam -- you don't know how you will feel," added the 25-year-old world number 41.
It was her first match since being edged out 7-6, 7-6 in the second round of the US Open in New York to Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova.
Pliskova next faces either Japan's Nao Hibino or a qualifier for a place in the quarter-finals of the hardcourt event.
Third seed Elise Mertens progressed with little fuss, the Belgian beating Russian Evgeniya Rodina 7-6, 6-1 while China's Wang Qiang saw off Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei 7-5, 6-2.