January 25, 2020 / 2:53 AM / a month ago

Tennis-Pavlyuchenkova beats Pliskova as seeds continue to tumble

Jan 25 (Reuters) - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova secured her first career victory in seven attempts over world number two Karolina Pliskova on Saturday as the Australian Open lost another high seed in the third round.

Russian Pavlyuchenkova battled to a 7-6(4) 7-6(3) win over the second-seeded Czech, who joined defending champion Naomi Osaka and 23-times Grand Slam winner Serena Williams in making third-round exits.

Pavlyuchenkova had a 4-1 lead in the first set and a 2-0 lead in the second before being taken to tiebreaks but won the key points to clinch victory in two hours, 25 minutes.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m still in the match and focusing on the next point,” Pavlyuchenkova said.

“I was thinking that if I take one or two games on her serve that would be amazing because she is the ace queen on the tour so that was my goal, so I was focusing on returning well.

“I also managed to hold on my serve too, so that helped.”

She will next meet three-times Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber in the fourth round after the German beat Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-2 6-7(4) 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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