No.5 seed Karolina Pliskova ended home hopes at this year's Australian Open with a comfortable win over Daria Gavrilova.
WTA Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia - No.5 seed Karolina Pliskova ended home hopes at this year's Australian Open with a comfortable win over Daria Gavrilova in the fourth round.

In the previous round Pliskova had come perilously close to defeat at the hands of Jelena Ostapenko, but this time she dominated from first point to last, hitting 27 winners to triumph, 6-3, 6-3, in an hour and 12 minutes.

"I'm definitely happy about this because the match I played against Ostapenko took up a lot of my energy," Pliskova told the press afterwards. "I felt a little bit tired yesterday, even today too. Definitely happy to be through this one. I have a day off tomorrow, and that's definitely a good thing.

"With the roof closed, everything was like little bit different, I felt. Even though I didn't feel my game that good, I still think was like solid. I served well when I needed to, but not as the last match. It's a win, so I'm happy about it."

Pliskova had won her previous two encounters against Gavrilova and seized the initiative immediately, breaking in a marathon opening game. A second break came soon after and while Gavrilova reduced the deficit she never looked like salvaging the set.

The Australian's opening three matches at Melbourne Park all went to three sets and when Pliskova sent a forehand careering wide to surrender her serve in the opening game of the second set, another Rod Laver comeback looked on the cards. However, her spell in the ascendency was short-lived, two thumping forehands prompting a run of four unanswered games from the Czech.

Gavrilova continued to battle away, saving off two more break points to stay in touch, but it was merely delaying the inevitable. Pliskova soon arrived at match point, squandering a couple of opportunities before summoning an ace at the third time of asking.

Karolina Pliskova

Pliskova will face Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the last eight, whose fairytale run in Melbourne continued with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Jennifer Brady earlier in the day. Despite being separated by nearly a decade in age, the pair are familiar foes on tour.

"I know her pretty well. We played few times. She beat me I think twice. I beat her twice, I think. Not sure about the head-to-head," Pliskova said. "But, yeah, definitely I think she's playing really well here. I didn't see much of her matches. I saw just the one against Radwanska. I think she was hitting the ball really well, playing fast. These conditions probably suit her as well.

"So she must be playing well when she's in the quarterfinals. I'm just going to expect a tough match. I have to be ready. It's going to be probably fast game, not many rallies. So I have to be really ready on my legs, serving well. I think I have good chance, as always."