Miami Open: Karolina Pliskova cruises, Elina Svitolina knocked out by Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Second-seeded Karolina Pliskova, a finalist at last year's US Open, had no trouble beating 86th-ranked Madison Brengle 6-1, 6-3 to get to the third round.

AFP March 24, 2017 16:27:45 IST
Miami Open: Karolina Pliskova cruises, Elina Svitolina knocked out by Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Miami: Second-seeded Karolina Pliskova, a finalist at last year's US Open, had no trouble beating 86th-ranked Madison Brengle 6-1, 6-3 in about an hour to get to the third round.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands picked up her first top-10 victory since 2015, upsetting ninth-seeded Elina Svitolina 7-5, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the Miami Open's third round.

Miami Open Karolina Pliskova cruises Elina Svitolina knocked out by Bethanie MattekSands

Karolina Pliskova cruised into the third round of the Miami Open. Iamge courtesy: Facebook/@MiamiOpen

Mattek-Sands, who turned 32 on Thursday, is ranked only 158th in singles and needed a wild-card invitation to get into the hard-court tournament. She is ranked No 1 in doubles.

Against Svitolina, Mattek-Sands saved 12 of the 15 break points she faced.

The woman with whom Mattek-Sands won the doubles championships at the past two Grand Slam tournaments, Lucie Safarova, eliminated 23rd-seeded Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday. Safarova, the 2015 French Open runner-up, is ranked 36th, so was just outside the seedings at the hard-court tournament. She broke Gavrilova five times while losing serve only once herself.

In a couple of other surprises, 18th-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe was knocked out by 105th-ranked qualifier Jana Cepelova 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, and Kirsten Flipkens beat No 29 Ana Konjuh 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 6-2.

Another surprise appeared to be developing when play was halted Thursday night because of rain: No. 6 Garbine Muguruza, the reigning French Open champion, was trailing 46th-ranked American Christina McHale 6-0, 3-2. They are scheduled to resume their second-round match Friday.

Other seeded winners included No 4 Dominika Cibulkova, No 5 Agnieszka Radwanska, No 12 Caroline Wozniacki, No 17 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, No 26 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, No 27 Yulia Putintseva and No. 30 Zhang Shuai.

In men's action, now things will get a little more challenging for Frances Tiafoe.

Tiafoe, a 19-year-old from Maryland, set up a second-round meeting against 18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer by beating Konstantin Kravchuk 7-5, 5-7, 6-1.

Tiafoe hit 12 aces and accumulated 14 break points, converting five, on the 32-year-old Kravchuk's serve. This was Tiafoe's third career match victory at a Grand Slam or Masters event. Kravchuk, meanwhile, dropped to 0-7 overall this season.

Tiafoe is ranked 101st, Kravchuk 103rd. The level of competition will rise against the fourth-seeded — and former No 1-ranked — Federer.

In other men's first-round action, Horacio Zeballos came back to beat Gastao Elias 6-7 (2), 6-2, 7-5 and earn a matchup against top-seeded Stan Wawrinka next. Wawrinka lost to Federer in the final at Indian Wells, California, on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Adrian Mannarino defeated qualifier Benjamin Becker 7-6 (6), 6-3 and will next face No 32 Paolo Lorenzi, Borna Coric edged Marcel Granollers 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3, and Tommy Robredo topped Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

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