World number two Karolina Pliskova barrelled into the Australian Open second round on Tuesday as she pursues her first Grand Slam crown.
The 27-year-old Czech crushed France’s Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 7-5 and plays Germany’s Laura Siegemund or American special case CoCo Vandeweghe next in Melbourne.
Pliskova, whose best Grand Slam appearance was annihilation to Angelique Kerber in the last of the 2016 US Open, considered it an “extreme test” against 41st-positioned Mladenovic.
“We had some great matches before and it was intense intellectually in the subsequent set,” said Pliskova, who beat Naomi Osaka while in transit to winning the Brisbane title this month.
Pliskova, a semi-finalist in Melbourne a year ago, said the Brisbane triumph made little difference to the following fortnight.
“It’s a fresh start here so weeks before don’t tally and no one recollects that,” she said.