NURNBERG, Germany - In a battle between strong servers, it was Kristyna Pliskova who prevailed against No.2 seed Julia Goerges, triumphing in three sets against the World No.11-ranked German at the Nurnberger Versicherungscup.
After dropping a lopsided opening set, Goerges recovered emphatically, saving match point to win the second set in a tiebreak. But the No.71-ranked lefty edged through in the end, needing just over two and a half hours to seal the upset, 6-2, 6-7(8), 7-6(5).
“It was really tough, I mean Julia was serving so good in the final two sets,” Pliskova said afterwards. “I was a break up in the second set and also had match point, so it was really tough mentally to ‘forget’ the second and start new in the third.”
She added, “I expected the German crowd to support Julia, because I had a tournament in Prague a couple weeks ago so it was kind of the same for everyone who was playing against Czech players. You just have to focus on you, but for sure it’s always nice when people cheer for a local player.”
It’s one of Pliskova’s best wins of the season by ranking, adding to her tally of big-name scalps like No.10-ranked Petra Kvitova in Charleston and No.7 Jelena Ostapenko in Shenzhen.
Up next, Pliskova will take on Lara Arruabarrena - the Spaniard defeated German wildcard Katharina Hobgarski 7-6(6), 6-1 in yesterday’s action.
“I think it will be a totally different match against Arruabarrena, because she’s not serving as big as Julia,” Pliskova said. “I think I will have more opportunities on her serve, but also she’s running better and she’s putting more balls back. So it’ll be a tough match.”
Monday wasn’t a fortunate day for the rest of the seeds in action either, with No.4 seed Zhang Shuai falling 6-2, 6-2 against qualifier Fanny Stollar, and Johanna Larsson moving on against No.5 seed Irina-Camelia Begu, who retired with a left leg injury at 6-4, 3-3.
Also into Round 2, Alison Riske defeated qualifier Mandy Minella 6-1, 7-6(2), while Nadia Podoroska took down fellow qualifier Kristina Kucova 6-2, 6-3.