Guadalajara Open: Karolina Pliskova comes through a tough opener!

Anhelina Kalinina and Elise Mertens kept the scoreboard ticking in favour of the seeds

by Abbey Johnson
Guadalajara Open: Karolina Pliskova comes through a tough opener!
© Joe Scarnici/ Getty Images

Karolina Pliskova began her week at the Guadalajara Open with a first-round win on Sunday. The Czech, who’s seeded 16th in the Mexican tournament got through 7-5, 6-2 against Japan’s Ena Shibahara in an hour and 22 minutes.

Pliskova made a quick and much-needed turnaround from her loss in the previous week to Anhelina Kalinina at the San Diego Open. The 31-year-old hit seven aces and won 80% of her first-serve points – she won 29 of 36 points played on her first serve to get going.

Although both players didn’t do all too well on their second serves, Pliskova still fared better than her opponent, who qualified for the main draw. The former world no. 1 won 47% of her second-serve points to the latter’s 40%.

Pliskova converted four break points on Shibahara’s serve and dropped her serve once – on the only break point she faced – in the match. She finished the match with 11 more points than Shibahara’s 55.

Guadalajara Open: Anhelina Kalinina, Sloane Stephens power on

Meanwhile, Kalinina also reached the second round in Mexico. The Ukrainian, seeded 12th, got past American qualifier Grace Min in their round-of-64 encounter. Kalinina needed a minute past the hour mark to post a 6-2, 6-0 win.

Kalinina won 77% of her first-serve points to Min’s 55%. She also won 86% of her second-serve points and 71% points on return on Min’s second serve. Kalinina didn’t face any break point on her serve and converted five break points on her opponent’s serve.

Former world no. 3 Sloane Stephens also took her place in the second round of the WTA 1000 event. The American who played a derby against qualifier Ann Li came through 7-5, 6-4 in the last match of the day after an hour and 42 minutes.

Stephens faced a fightback from Li in the second set as the latter rallied from 4-1, double-break down in the set to reduce the deficit to just a single break of serve. Eventually, however, the former US Open champion held on to her advantage to serve out the match in the 10th game.

Lastly, among the winners on Sunday at the Guadalajara Open was also Elise Mertens. The 13rd seed beat fellow Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 7-6(4), 6-2 in their round-of-64 meeting.

Other Results© Abbey Johnson

Karolina Pliskova Anhelina Kalinina Elise Mertens