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Australian Open: Pliskova, Muguruza, Konta enter second round

Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza and Johanna Konta enter second round of Australian Open. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Jan 16, 2018, 11.46 AM (IST)

Karolina Pliskova d Veronica Cepede, 6-3, 6-4

Karolina Pliskova beat Veronica Cepede in the first round of Australian Open. She said before her opening match she would donate US$100 of her prize money to benefit sick children for every ace she serves at the year's first Grand Slam.

"I've decided to contribute to a good cause. During the Australian Open, I will donate through my endowment fund US$100 for each ace to help children with oncological diseases. Keep your fingers crossed for me!" the sixth seed tweeted.


Her 6-3, 6-4 first-round victory over Paraguay's Veronica Cepede Royg on Tuesday will see her writing a cheque for $700 already -- she served seven aces.

Garbine Muguruza d Jessika Ponchet, 6-4, 6-3

Garbine Muguruza wore heavy strapping on her injured right thigh as she laboured to a 6-4, 6-3 victory against wildcard Jessika Ponchet in the Australian Open first round on Tuesday.

The world number three took an hour and 24 minutes to quell the virtually unknown 21-year-old French world number 256.

Muguruza said before her match she was hoping to be "pain-free" to begin her Australian Open campaign, but her mobility was hampered and she looked anything but fully fit against Ponchet.


A quarter-finalist in Melbourne last year, Spain's Muguruza dropped her first service game but from there battled back to take the first set in 43 minutes.

"It wasn't easy. I didn't know anything about her," said Muguruza of her opponent who was making her first main draw appearance in a WTA event, let alone a Grand Slam.

"She's super talented. Serves and volleys, so I had to stay very concentrated."

The Wimbledon champion had a problematic start to the year, pulling out of the Sydney International to protect her right thigh.

Johanna Konta d Madison Brengle, 6-3, 6-1

British hope Johanna Konta showed no signs of her recent injury troubles Tuesday as she dismantled Madison Brengle to continue the dismal US start to the year's first Grand Slam.

An incredible 12 of the 15 American players on the court on day one were dumped out of the event -- including women's title fancies Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and CoCo Vandeweghe plus Jack Sock and John Isner on the men's side.


And Brengle became the unlucky 13th American to head for the exit door after impressive ninth-seeded Konta overpowered her 6-3, 6-1 on the back of eight aces and 37 winners in just 66 minutes on Hisense Arena.

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Australian Open: Roger roars in round one


Story highlights

Karolina Pliskova d Veronica Cepede, 6-3, 6-4 || ||Garbine Muguruza d Jessika Ponchet, 6-4, 6-3 || ||Johanna Konta d Madison Brengle, 6-3, 6-1