Home advantage helped Katerina Siniakova upset Alizé Cornet and move into the second round of the J&T Banka Prague Open.
WTA Staff

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Katerina Siniakova rewarded the locals who braved the elements on the opening day of the J&T Banka Prague Open by upsetting Alizé Cornet in straight sets.

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On a bitterly cold afternoon in the Czech capital, Siniakova found the conditions more to her liking, delighting the home crowd with a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory over the former World No.11.

"I was trying to play my best and it was really hard because she was fighting, running everywhere, so I'm so happy I could win," Siniakova said. "I just focused on every point and stuck to the tactics I agreed [with my coach] before the match."

Siniakova hails from Hradec Kralove, but regularly trains on the Sparta Club's clay courts that play host to the tournament. This familiarity with the surroundings was clear as the teenager - wisely clad in leggings and thermal vest - set about the task of piercing Cornet's defense. She was rewarded for her positivity when she prevailed in a see-saw conclusion to the opening set, before warming to the task further at the start of the second.

When Cornet sent a forehand into the tramlines to surrender serve Siniakova had the breathing room her confidence required, and she maintained this advantage until the end to book a second-round meeting with either Stefanie Voegele or fellow Czech Karolina Pliskova.

"Of course it helped because when I'm here, I'm practicing on that court so I know it a little bit. But also the atmosphere was really good because people come and support us," Siniakova added.

Also hoping to harness the crowd's support was Kristyna Pliskova, but despite a strong start her powerful game was defused then picked apart by Hsieh Su-Wei, who ran out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 winner. Hsieh's reward is a meeting with Ana Konjuh, after she fought back to upset fellow teenager and No.6 seed Jelena Ostapenko