Kristyna Pliskova continued to build on a successful September with an upset victory over No.5 seed Kurumi Nara; No.2 seed Kirsten Flipkens won a thriller over Maria Sakkari.
WTA Staff

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - Success is running in the Pliskova family these days as Karolina's twin sister Kristyna took out No.5 seed Kurumi Nara, 6-2, 6-2, to reach the quarterfinals of the Tashkent Open.

"I expected a tough match," she said after the match. "I served very well, and my ground strokes found the right angles. I was playing confidently today."

The same week Karolina Pliskova made her major breakthrough at the US Open, Kristyna won a title of her own at the WTA 125K Challenger event in Dalian. The big-serving Czech has continued her solid form in Tashkent, dropping just four games to Nara to reach her first WTA quarterfinal of the season.

"I'm happy to break my jinx and move into the quarterfinals. This win here today will help me defend major points. I will have easy start to the year next year and also probably make it to my best ranking."

She and sister Karolina had a solid result in doubles earlier in the year - reaching the semifinals in Nottingham, which Karolina won in singles - but Kristyna cites a coaching switch with helping her return to the Top 100.

"I have a new coach since Dalian and he has been very positive and changed my thinking. That has helped me. I have played good singles this year, and am currently I'm playing solid tennis."

Karolina may be the ace leader for 2016, but Kristyna has a formidable delivery of her own, hitting a record 31 aces in a three-setter against Olympic Gold medalist Monica Puig at the Australian Open.

"I'm very confident about my service, it's my favorite shot. I like to serve hard and normally get speeds up to 180km/hr outdoors and 200km/hr indoors."

Up next for Pliskova is a fellow former junior prodigy in Irina Khromacheva, who knocked out No.8 seed Naomi Broady, 6-2, 6-4; the extended stay in Tashkent has given her a chance to enjoy the city.

"I lost in the first round last year and didn't have time to go around. But now that I'm here for four days, I have been moving around more. I feel it's a great city to be in, and I will surely take back good memories of the city."

Completing the quarterfinal line-up is No.2 seed Kirsten Flipkens, who edged past young Greek star Maria Sakkari, 7-6(0), 3-6, 7-6(4).

"It was great being out there," Flipkens said in her post-match press conference. "It was tough to stay for nearly three hours and quite hot too, but I had good starts in the tie-breaks, which made the difference.

"Sakkari played very well. It was good match for both of us, and I'm very happy with the way I played."