WTA Finals: Karolina Pliskova brushes past sluggish Venus Williams in one-sided opener

Pliskova overwhelmed Williams from the get-go to record a 6-2, 6-2 victory in a one-sided match lasting just one hour and 13 minutes.

AFP October 22, 2017 20:04:21 IST
WTA Finals: Karolina Pliskova brushes past sluggish Venus Williams in one-sided opener

Singapore: World No 3 Karolina Pliskova believes her experience playing on the Singapore Indoor Stadium's slower court was the catalyst for a crushing straight sets victory over Venus Williams on Sunday.

Pliskova, playing in her second consecutive WTA Finals, overwhelmed a sluggish Williams from the get-go to record a 6-2, 6-2 victory in a one-sided match lasting just one hour and 13 minutes.

Williams was making her debut in Singapore after reaching the WTA Finals for the first time since 2009, when it was played in Doha.

WTA Finals Karolina Pliskova brushes past sluggish Venus Williams in onesided opener

Karolina Pliskova reacts on a point against Venus Williams during the WTA Finals. AFP

Even though she did not make it out of the group stage a year ago, the Czech said the experience helped enormously.

"I think I had quite an advantage from that she (Williams) was not playing for the last few years in WTA finals," Pliskova told reporters after the match.

"I don’t know how she felt but I think I was trying to take that advantage that I was here last year."

Opening the tournament, which fields the top eight players, Pliskova — playing her first match under the guidance of new coach Rennae Stubbs — showcased her heavy artillery.

It was a much-needed confidence boost for the 25-year-old, who slipped in the rankings after being crowned World No 1 in July.

But the match was an anti-climax for Williams and an early blow to the 37-year-old's bid to be crowned the world's number one for the first time in 15 years.

Williams said she was confident of rebounding from the defeat. "Yeah, I have been in this position before," she said. "So I will be back on Tuesday. I felt like I returned well today. I just didn't execute as well during the point."

Even though both players are notable servers, there were four breaks of serve in the first set and Pliskova captured three of them.

Pliskova started the match in trademark fashion with an ace and showed her proficiency in returning by breaking Williams in the second game to gain an early stranglehold.

In just her second tournament since the US Open, Williams struggled to dust off the cobwebs. Her error-strewn first set was marred by nine unforced errors and three double faults.

Williams appeared to be finding her groove early in the second set when she had two chances to break. But Pliskova had all the answers and ran out a comfortable winner.

Updated Date:

also read

Rafael Nadal drops out of ATP top five as compatriot Carlos Alcaraz leaps 17 places to 38
Sports

Rafael Nadal drops out of ATP top five as compatriot Carlos Alcaraz leaps 17 places to 38

Nadal has not played since losing to Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals due to a foot injury and now sits sixth in the rankings.

US Open 2021: 'A star is born,' Twitter reacts to Emma Raducanu's landmark title win
Sports

US Open 2021: 'A star is born,' Twitter reacts to Emma Raducanu's landmark title win

Here's how Twitter reacted to 18-year-old Emma Raducanu's impressive win in the women's singles final at the US Open.

US Open 2021: Leylah Fernandez relishing New York's support in big wins
Sports

US Open 2021: Leylah Fernandez relishing New York's support in big wins

After crucial points, Leylah Fernandez would raise her right fist or windmill her arms, firing herself and crowds inside packed stadiums. And she's won many critical points at US Open.