After storming through the entire Nature Valley International last week, Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova had to break a sweat in her first-round match against world No.101 Zhu Lin of China at Wimbledon.
The third-seeded Pliskova won the first set in 27 minutes, in the style that led her to the grass-court title in Eastbourne, but was challenged in the second set and even faced multiple set points as Zhu recorded the first break in the set to lead 6-5. The following game lasted more than 10 minutes and included some 5 deuces, but eventually Pliskova prevailed and forced a tiebreak.
The second-set tiebreak went with serve for a long time, just as it was the case in the games that lead up to the tiebreak. Pliskova was the first to win a minibreak and earned her first match point at 6-4, converting it when Zhu sent a backhand long following Pliskova’s fierce return on the line. Final score: 6-2 7-6(4).
Earlier on Monday, seeded players Madison Keys and Elina Svitolina also reached the second round of Wimbledon.