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Australian Open 2017: Hotly Tipped Pliskova Beginning to Believe

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Fifth seed Karolina Pliskova continued her impressive march through the Australian Open on Thursday, and is beginning to believe she could be on track for a Grand Slam to remember.

Melbourne: Fifth seed Karolina Pliskova continued her impressive march through the Australian Open on Thursday, and is beginning to believe she could be on track for a Grand Slam to remember.

The towering Czech star dished out a 6-0, 6-2 lesson to hapless Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova in the second round and has only dropped four games so far in two matches.

Pliskova hasn't lost this year, lifting the trophy in this month's Brisbane International, and her confidence is running high.


"I'm feeling pretty good on the court, confident. I have some matches already that I won this year. I didn't lose yet, which is also a good thing," she said.

"I think I'm playing good, even though the opponents were not that high level, I would say.

"Third round is going to definitely be more tough than the first two. Also people are saying I have a good chance to win a Grand Slam, but we are just in third round, so let's see."

Awaiting her next is Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko, who upset 31st seed Yulia Putintseva in straight sets.


If she beats Ostapenko, as form suggests she will, a potential quarter-final against third seed Agnieszka Radwanska will be within Pliskova's sights.

But the Czech star, who broke through last year in making the US Open final, losing to Angelique Kerber, is taking nothing for granted.

"I'm expecting a tough match, but hopefully I can still improve my level and play it a bit better," she said of Ostapenko. "Hopefully it's going to be enough."

Blinkova, in her Grand Slam debut aged only 18 and ranked 189 in the world, never stood a chance in warm sunshine at the Margaret Court Arena.


It was her first match against a top 10 opponent and she was out of her depth, struggling with her first serve and her returning.

Power server Pliskova gave no ground and raced through the first set in just 25 minutes, with Blinkova winning only 12 points.

Ranked at a career-high five in the world, the tall and tattooed 24-year-old was in no mood to give an inch and romped 4-0 in front in the second set before Blinkova finally held serve.

She raised her arm in the air and got huge cheers from the crowd, and then held serve for a second time before Pliskova wrapped up a routine victory.