No.5 seed Karolina Pliskova put on another emphatic performance to dismiss Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova in straight sets at the Australian Open.
WTA Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia - In the blink of an eye, No.5 seed Karolina Pliskova notched a seventh straight win to start the 2017 season, dropping just two games to Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova, 6-0, 6-2, to reach the third round of the Australian Open.

"I think the opponents were not -- I don't want to say "not that good," but obviously I was better," Pliskova said in her post-match press conference.

"It was definitely a better match today than the first round. Still happy to be through in just an hour."

Pliskova came to Melbourne as the in-form player to start the season, having captured the Brisbane International with the loss of only one set.

Against Blinkova, a junior standout who reached the junior Wimbledon final in 2015, she kept up the steamroll that started on Tuesday against Sara Sorribes Tormo, winning the first 10 games of the match.

Blinkova caused a minor upset to start the tournament by knocking out Hobart International finalist Monica Niculescu, and finally ended Pliskova's run of 16 straight games over her first two matches with a hard-fought hold of serve.

A break point in the next game could have foreshadowed a tighter match, but Pliskova remained implacable to hold on and clinch victory in just over an hour.

By match's end, Pliskova hit 9 aces and 24 winners, losing just four points behind her first serve and hitting no more than 13 unforced errors.

The win puts the No.5 seed into the third round of the Australian Open for the second straight year, and one match away from a second straight Grand Slam second week - after going 0/17 to start her career.

"I'm feeling pretty good on the court, confident. I have some matches already that I won this year. I haven't lost yet, which is also a good thing.

"The opponents were not at that high of a level, but still, I felt pretty good out there. The third round is going to definitely more tough than the first two. Also people are talking I have a good chance to win a Grand Slam, but we are just in third round, so let's see."

Up next for Pliskova is unseeded Jelena Ostapenko, who put on a clinic to oust former doubles partner and No.31 seed Yulia Putintseva, 6-3, 6-1.

"I have played her in Cincinnati in the first round, so I know a little bit about her. It's third round, so she won two matches, as well.

"I'm expecting a tough match, but hopefully I can still improve my level and play it a bit better. Hopefully it's going to be enough."