Former World No.1 Karolina Pliskova won a sixth straight match on red clay since capturing the Internazionali BNL d'Italia title, navigating past dangerous American Madison Brengle to reach the second round of Roland Garros.
David Kane
May 26, 2019

PARIS, France - Former World No.1 Karolina Pliskova kept up her winning ways at Roland Garros, dismissing Madison Brengle, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the second round.

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The Internazionali BNL d'Italia champion is fresh off the biggest clay court title of her career; seeded No.2 in Paris, the three-time WTA Ace Leader eased past the American after exactly one hour on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

"The beginning of the clay court season was not the best for me," she explained after the match. "I was missing a couple of matches, which I managed to play in Rome, so I think from there my tennis has been improving match by match. I got the title, which is always good before a Grand Slam. I hope to play good tennis here too!"

Brengle is no stranger to the big stage, having pushed Pliskova to three sets at the Australian Open, but the Czech was on song early and often on Sunday afternoon, shaking off what she called early nerves during her on-court interview to flip an 0-2 deficit into six straight games in the opening set.

"It feels good obviously," she said of the win in her post-match press conference. "The first round is always tough, tricky. You don't know how you're going to feel, how you're going to play.

"But I had good couple days of practice, so I felt fine. Not perfect, but fine. And it was solid today."

The second set saw another exchange of breaks as Brengle fought to stay in contention, but even as she broke Pliskova while serving for the match, the World No.2 remained in front, breaking straight back to secure victory on Sunday.


In all, Pliskova struck an impressive 36 winners to just 29 unforced errors and converted seven of eight break point opportunities while winning 10 of 14 points at the net.

"Maybe a little bit, but I feel good, so there is no reason why I should feel some extra pressure or why I should be nervous from this. It's only positive," she said of the increased expectations.

"I'm having good season, of course there's going to be pressure that I have to go far in the tournaments. That's normal. That's almost every season, so it's quite similar.

"Of course, this one is so far the best, but always there is some kind of pressure, so I'm fine with that."

Up next for the self-styled "Ace Queen" is Slovak qualifier Kristina Kucova, who shocked 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets earlier in the day.

"I feel like every time when I play tournaments, match from match, I improve. So hopefully that's going to happen here too."