Defending champ Pliskova passes Cornet test in Doha


DOHA, Qatar – Defending champion Karolina Pliskova dug deep to dispatch French veteran Alizé Cornet, 6-2, 6-3, to extend her Qatar Total Open winning streak to five straight on Wednesday.

“I feel confident,” Pliskova said during her on-court interview. “Even though I wasn’t playing the last few days because I was sick, I was feeling good on the court today. I think it was a good start at the tournament for me. It’s not an easy draw this year, so I’ll try to take it step by step and play as many matches as I can.”

The longtime Ace Leader suffered slow starts in each set against Cornet, who battled out to early break advantages both times. 

“Overall from the baseline I was feeling quite good,” she explained after the match. “Just on the serve I was a little bit off. So I think my energy was kind of low with the serve, but, yeah, it was enough today. A little bit windy, so I think it helped me kind of the wind today. I was used to it from last year. I remember it was almost the same wind. So I think she can play well.

“For sure she doesn’t give me much mistakes, so I had to most of the time play the points and play the balls. So I think it was a good start. Could be better, but it’s a start I’m satisfied with.”

Pliskova rallied quickly in the opening set, winning six straight games, but Cornet appeared in control after saving three break points in a long fourth game of the second set. The former World No.1 showed all her mettle from there, winning the last five games to secure victory in 70 minutes.

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