INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - No.18 seed Karolina Pliskova needed less than an hour to take her place in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open, producing a dominant display to swat aside former champion Ana Ivanovic.
After an even start, Pliskova's game clicked into gear in spectacular fashion, a sequence of 10 uninterrupted games helping her to a 6-2, 6-0 victory.
Ivanovic, who lifted the Indian Wells title eight years ago, came into the contest nursing a knee injury that hampered her movement throughout. A string of uncharacteristic errors saw her broken to love in the opening game and while she drew level soon after, it was clear that her game lacked its usual zip.
Pliskova, on the other hand, was having no difficulty getting the ball through the court, forging ahead and wrapping up the set with a fierce backhand drive. The winners continued to flow in the second, the Czech eventually finishing with 18 as she romped to the finishing line.
Pliskova had won all three of her previous encounters with Ivanovic, including earlier this year in Sydney. "We've played a few times already and I've always won. But I think I played really good tennis today and I'm happy that I made [the next round] so fast," Pliskova said.
The one-sided scoreline was all the more surprising given the players' respective form heading into the tournament; Ivanovic had made the semi and quarterfinals in St. Petersburg and Dubai, while Pliskova had suffered a couple of early exits in the Middle East.
"Last year I didn't lose any first rounds. Now I'd lost twice in a row so I'm just happy to have some matches and looking forward to the next one," Pliskova added.
Also emerging triumphant from Monday's afternoon session were Roberta Vinci and Magdalena Rybarikova. Vinci continued her fine start to the year by outclassing Elina Svitolina, 6-1, 6-3, while Rybarikova caused the tournament's latest shock, dumping out No.7 seed Belinda Bencic, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.