Top seed Angelique Kerber enjoyed her most decisive win of the week to dispatch Kristyna Pliskova in straight sets to return to the fourth round of the Australian Open.
WTA Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia - World No.1 Angelique Kerber kept her hopes of a second straight Australian Open title alive with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Kristyna Pliskova to reach the second week Down Under.

"I was feeling very good from the first point," she said during her post-match press conference. "Matches like this are always tough to play when your opponent is serving very well, and you have to bring a lot of balls back, move well, and just go for it.

"But I'm happy about my performance."

Kerber had been made to battle in her first two matches, getting stretched to three sets by both Lesia Tsurenko and Carina Witthoeft. The German was much faster out of the gates on Friday, winning the first set in 21 minutes over the twin sister of No.5 seed Karolina Pliskova.

"I'm looking round by round, and I'm ready for every single match every single day. This is what counts, because I know that this is the only way to play good tennis, especially in these two weeks."

Kristyna has yet to reach the heights of Karolina, but has enjoyed a strong surge in form in the last few months, winning a WTA 125K Series event in Dalian and following that up with a maiden WTA title at the Tashkent Open.

The unseeded Czech broke to start the second and though Kerber would later break back, she kept the second set far closer - getting within two games of a decider - before the defending champion edged ahead to serve out her spot in the fourth round after 56 minutes on court.

"It's completely different this year, compared to last. It's great to have another good match on my belt and being in the fourth round again here," she said.

"I'm looking forward to the next one. Yeah, I think that I find my rhythm to the tournament now."

Up next for Kerber is another unseeded big hitter in American CoCo Vandeweghe, who recovered from 4-2 down in the final set in her match against Eugenie Bouchard to advance in three.

"I think it will be like maybe a little bit similar than today. CoCo is a tough opponent. She played good today. I saw a little bit of her match before mine. I know that she's serving good, as well.

"I have to move good, be ready to bring a lot of balls back, but also be aggressive, as well, like I can play."