Karolina Pliskova survives scare against qualifier Mayar Sherif in first round

Karolina Pliskova reached the Italian Open final earlier in September
Karolina Pliskova reached the Italian Open final earlier in September

CZECH second seed Karolina Pliskova came from a set down to avoid an upset against Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif in the French Open first round.

World number four Pliskova, 28, had eight set points in the opener, before losing to Sherif – ranked 172nd in the world – in a tie-break.

But the 2017 semi-finalist fought back to win 6-7 (9-11) 6-2 6-4.

American fourth seed and Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin also sealed her place in the second round.

Kenin, 21, beat Russia’s Ludmilla Samsonova 6-4 3-6 6-3 and will play Romanian Ana Bogdan next.

Pliskova wrapped up a quick second set against Sherif, 24, after winning four games in a row then held her nerve in a tense decider.

“It was super tough,” she said. “Especially after losing the first set after having set points.

“She played a great game, especially in these conditions.”

Pliskova, who has never won a Grand Slam, will face Latvian world number 43 Jelena Ostapenko in the second round.

While Sherif did not manage to claim her upset, 17-year-old Danish qualifier Clara Tauson shocked American 21st seed Jennifer Brady.

Tauson saved two match points to win 6-4 3-6 9-7 and reach the second round in her first Grand Slam main-draw appearance.

A second shock was caused by Romanian qualifier Irina Bara, who beat Croatian 26th seed Donna Vekic 6-3 6-4.

BBC Sport

– Sept. 29, 2020 @ 18:24 GMT /

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