Kerber sees off Pliskova to reach last 16

Updated: 

World number one and defending champion Angelique Kerber accounted for Krystina Pliskova in straight sets to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Kerber withstood a late rally as she eased past the Czech world number 58, winning 6-0 6-4 in less than an hour at Melbourne Park on Friday.

A silver medallist at the Olympic Games last year, Kerber threatened to steamroll Pliskova after taking out the opening set in just 20 minutes but the German was forced to dig a little deeper as she earned a showdown with Coco Vandeweghe.

It was smooth sailing from the outset for Kerber, who earned two break points but only needed one as Pliskova fired a backhand into the net in the opening game on Rod Laver Arena.

Kerber then claimed another break after Pliskova double-faulted and she continued her relentless display, breaking serve again for a 5-0 lead before closing out the set.

The two-time major winner threatened to wipe the floor with Pliskova but her opponent showed some life, finally getting on the board and claiming the break as she hit the front 3-2 for the first time in the match.

Pliskova looked like a completely different player, however her resurgence was short-lived, firing a forehand wide to hand Kerber the break and the opportunity to serve for the contest.

And Kerber capitalised on the break as she won through to the last 16 of the season's first grand slam.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Kerber [1] bt Pliskova 6-0 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Kerber - 14/14
Pliskova - 19/34

ACES 
Kerber - 1
Pliskova - 6

BREAK POINTS WON  
Kerber - 5/6
Pliskova - 1/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE  
Kerber - 65
Pliskova - 60

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Kerber - 62/61
Pliskova - 59/28

TOTAL POINTS  
Kerber - 56
Pliskova - 41