LONDON (Reuters) – Former world number one Karolina Pliskova battled past Hsieh Su-Wei 6-3 2-6 6-4 on Friday in a clash of contrasting styles to reach the Wimbledon fourth round for the second time.
Czech third seed Pliskova made full use of her mighty serve, firing 14 aces on Court One to counter Hsieh’s fast feet and soft hands and prevail in an hour and 46 minutes.
Both players started the opening set strongly before an unusually untidy game by world number 16 Hsieh allowed Pliskova to claim a break for a 5-3 lead.
That was the opening the 27-year-old needed as she switched gears and closed out the set with her sixth ace.
Hsieh responded with an early break in the second set to race 4-2 ahead and the 33-year-old saved four break points in the seventh game before taking the match into a decider.
Pliskova, who beat last year’s Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in the Eastbourne final last week, put Hsieh on the back foot with searing groundstrokes early in the third set to break for a 3-1 lead.
Appearing less rattled by Hsieh’s variations as the match wore on, Pliskova staved off a late comeback attempt by the Taiwanese to close out victory.
Up next for Pliskova is 20th seed Anett Kontaveit or her Czech compatriot Karolina Muchova.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)