The Latest: 2nd-seeded Pliskova advances at Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest on the Australian Open (all times local):
Second-seeded Karolina Pliskova clinched a 6-1, 7-5 win with a late service break against Kristina Mladenovic in the opening match on at Rod Laver Arena on Day 2 of the Australian Open.
Pliskova, who lost to eventual champion Naomi Osaka in the semifinals here last year, started the season with a title in Brisbane.
“It's a new beginning here,” Pliskova said. “The weeks before, nobody really counts and nobody remembers. But I had some very good matches.”
Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic advanced with a 6-3, 7-5 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
Next up Rod Laver Arena will be Maria Sharapova's match against 19th-seeded Donna Vekic. Sharapova, a five-time major winner and champion here in 2008, has been affected by injuries needed a wild-card entry from organizers to get into the main draw.
The heavy rain that disrupted the opening day of the tournament has given way to sunny skies and pleasant playing conditions on Day 2.
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal was scheduled to play the final day match on Rod Laver Arena against Hugo Dellien.
Former semifinalist Johanna Konta is out of the Australian Open after losing her first-round match to Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-2. It was the 28-year-old Konta's second match since last year's U.S. Open after being sidelined with a chronic tendinitis-related injury in her right knee.
Konta lost in the first round of the Brisbane International to start the year and later pulled out of the Adelaide International.
The Sydney-born Konta advanced to the semifinals at Melbourne Park in 2016. She lost to Jabeur the last time they played at Eastbourne in 2019.
The match was carried over from Monday when torrential rain suspended all play on outside courts from mid-afternoon.
Mostly sunny skies returned to Melbourne Park for Day 2 of the Australian Open, a welcome change from the deluge of rain Monday that forced suspension of dozens of matches.
As a result, organizers started play on outside courts a half-hour early while matches on the three covered main courts were scheduled to begin at the regular time. Leading off the day on Rod Laver Arena was second-seeded Karolina Pliskova, who played Kristina Mladenovic.
Next up was 2008 Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova, who needed a wild- card entry after a series of injuries forced her off the tour and saw her ranking slide. She plays 19th-seeded Donna Vekic.
Top-seeded Rafael Nadal makes his first appearance in the final day match Rod Laver Arena against Hugo Dellien.
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