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Pliskova plays down chances despite easy win

By The Assam Tribune
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MELBOURNE, Jan 17: Fast-rising Czech star Karolina Pliskova played down her Australian Open chances today despite kick-starting her campaign with an ominous straight-sets rout.

Ranked at a career-high five in the world, the tall and tattooed 24-year-old proved too hot to handle for Spain�s Sara Sorribes Tormo in blistering heat on Rod Laver Arena.

She showed no mercy in thrashing the 106th-ranked Spaniard 6-2, 6-0 to set up a second-round clash with Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova, who ended the hopes of Romanian Monica Niculescu.

Pliskova, an US Open finalist last year, said ahead of the opening Grand Slam of the year that the Melbourne Park surface suited her game and it was the tournament that offered her the best chance for a maiden Grand Slam title.

�Actually, I feel 100 times better than I felt before the US Open,� she said, having never gone beyond the third round at any Grand Slam before that.

�So this thing, like the scariness of the second week, is already gone. Doesn�t mean that I�m going to be there for sure now every Grand Slam in the second week. It can happen that I still lose, but definitely I feel better with this pressure than before.�

She came into the event in form after her victory at the lead-up Brisbane International, and has tasted success in Melbourne before � winning the girl�s singles title in 2010.

But she played down her chances over the next fortnight.

�I don�t feel like I would be favourite on this tournament or any Grand Slam so far. I think there are still better players than me. Me, I don�t want to put the pressure on myself,� she said. � AFP

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Pliskova plays down chances despite easy win

MELBOURNE, Jan 17: Fast-rising Czech star Karolina Pliskova played down her Australian Open chances today despite kick-starting her campaign with an ominous straight-sets rout.

Ranked at a career-high five in the world, the tall and tattooed 24-year-old proved too hot to handle for Spain�s Sara Sorribes Tormo in blistering heat on Rod Laver Arena.

She showed no mercy in thrashing the 106th-ranked Spaniard 6-2, 6-0 to set up a second-round clash with Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova, who ended the hopes of Romanian Monica Niculescu.

Pliskova, an US Open finalist last year, said ahead of the opening Grand Slam of the year that the Melbourne Park surface suited her game and it was the tournament that offered her the best chance for a maiden Grand Slam title.

�Actually, I feel 100 times better than I felt before the US Open,� she said, having never gone beyond the third round at any Grand Slam before that.

�So this thing, like the scariness of the second week, is already gone. Doesn�t mean that I�m going to be there for sure now every Grand Slam in the second week. It can happen that I still lose, but definitely I feel better with this pressure than before.�

She came into the event in form after her victory at the lead-up Brisbane International, and has tasted success in Melbourne before � winning the girl�s singles title in 2010.

But she played down her chances over the next fortnight.

�I don�t feel like I would be favourite on this tournament or any Grand Slam so far. I think there are still better players than me. Me, I don�t want to put the pressure on myself,� she said. � AFP