PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Unseeded Kristyna Pliskova gave her home crowd something to cheer about at the J&T Banka Prague Open on Tuesday with a 6-4, 6-4 upset of wild card Jelena Jankovic.
Pliskova, the WTA World No.59, is ranked only two spots behind her 32-year-old opponent. Prior to today, though, she possessed only one WTA Tour win on red clay to her name - over Renata Voracova, in Rabat 2011.
The Serb, meanwhile, is a former WTA World No.1 and three-time Roland Garros semifinalist - but had no answer to the efficient power displayed by her younger rival, particularly in firing down big serves at crucial junctures.
The 25-year-old Pliskova rode an early break to victory in both sets, saving all seven break points she faced en route.
It was a good day for home players overall, following Monday's disappointment of Kristyna's top-seeded twin Karolina's loss. All five Czechs in action progressed into round two: No.3 seed Barbora Strycova dismantled Julia Goerges 6-4, 6-0 to take a 4-3 lead in their head-to-head; No.6 seed Katerina Siniakova battled past Danka Kovinic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2; qualifier Lucie Hradecka won her third straight-sets match against Magda Linette 6-3, 6-4; and defending champion Lucie Safarova came back from a set down to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Strycova was certainly appreciative of the home support, saying afterwards:
"I’m happy about my match today. It’s always difficult to play against Julia, I know her very well, and she’s got a big game. I’m so lucky to have such [a large] crowd here in Prague, my home town, to feel them on court cheering me was really something special.
"So far I’ve played three matches [on clay]. I’m happy about it, but I still need to work on it. My sliding, my slicing, and to be patient."