Sixth-ranked Karolina Pliskova defeated Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 1-6, 7-5 here to advance to the third round of the Madrid Open tennis championships for the first time in her career.
The Czech player on Monday needed two hours and eight minutes to get past Azarenka, who put up a harder fight than many expected given that her last appearance on clay was nearly two years ago, reports Efe.
After winning the first set comfortably, Pliskova stumbled badly in the second against the Belarusian former world No. 1 pursuing a comeback after an extended absence from competition due to motherhood and a custody battle.
For Pliskova, it was a seventh consecutive clay court triumph.
Her next opponent will be Sloane Stephens of the United States, winner of the 2017 US Open and ranked ninth in the world.