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Toronto | Pliskova wins her first match as No1

Karolina Pliskova, playing her first match since becoming the women’s world No1, defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 6-3 in her opening match at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

Maybe the pressure is a little bit bigger, but that’s normal, you know. So just counting with that and nothing has changed Karolina Pliskova

When questioned as to whether she felt under pressure at sitting atop the rankings, she replied: “No, not at all. And I was not really thinking about this.

“But, yeah, it was not the best. And I think some moments were okay, but otherwise the serve was not great and overall I was not real happy with my game today. But was enough and so another chance tomorrow to improve.”

“I had a little bit (of nerves) before my match because I really wanted to win this one, and then also I knew I have the good record against her. So I just knew if I play solid and okay I can win it.”However she did admit: “Maybe the pressure is a little bit bigger, but that’s normal, you know. So just counting with that and nothing has changed.”

The 36-year-old Venus Williams survived a grueling session against Katerina Siniakova, eventually defeating the Swedish Open champion 7-5 7-5 to go on and face Elina Svitolina.

“I haven’t played her in ages, so we’ll see how that works out,” Williams said. “I mean, she’s had a great season I think as well. She’s had some wins. I don’t really keep up with everything everyone else is doing, but I think she’s been playing well.

“So I’m sure she’ll be confident in the match, and I should be fairly confident too.”

The defending champion and world No. 2 Simona Halep, got off to a good start in the defense of her title by defeating Magdalena Rybarikova relatively comfortably 6-3 6-4 but wasn’t happy with her performance saying she was frustrated by her opponent’s style which didn’t allow to get into any rhythm.

Wimbledon champion and fourth seed Garbine Muguruza her challenge off to an equally good start with a 7-5 6-2 vitory Kirsten Flipkens and now faces qualifier Ashleigh Barty, the former Aussie cricketer, who upset 16th seed Elena Vesnina 6-3 5-7 6-4.

Another upset as provided by the American youngster CiCi Bellis, who surprised No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 7-5 while sixth seed Caroline Wozniacki had no problems with Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia, going through 6-3 6-0.

There was success for another teenager, Naomi Osaka who defeated the 15th seeded Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-4 while Petra Kvitova suffered a loss to Sloane Stephens 7-6(4) 3-6 6-2 who will now face the formr world No.q Angelique Kerber conqueror of Donna Vekic 6-4 7-6(5).

The biggest upset of the day was caused by Ekaterina Makarova, last week’s City Open champion, who saved two match points before ousting Jo Konta, the seventh seed, 5-7 7-6(4) 6-3 and will take on Lucie Safarova who in turn stunned the 11th seed, Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 6-4.



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