The defending champion and  top seed Kristyna Pliskova  survived a scare as she scampered home  from being  2-4  down in the final set to  register  a win  against unseeded Su- Wei Hsieh  of Chinese Taipei  and  enter the second round of  the  19th edition of Tashkent Open WTA Championships being played at the Republican Olympic  School of Tennis in Tashkent.

The top seed  and 41 ranked  left-handed Pliskova won 7-6(3),6-7(4), 6-4  in a match lasting 2 hours and 23 minutes , the other seeds in action including second-seeded Timea Babos of Hungary , third-seeded Maria Tatjana of Germany , sixth-seeded Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia , seventh-seeded Nao Hibino of Japan  along with Kurumi Nara of Japan,   Slovakian Jana Cepelova  and Belorussian Aryna Sabalenka   moved into the round of sixteen .

In the best match of the day which went down to the wire,  Defending Champion Kristyna Pliskova came back from being 2-4 in the final set reeling off four games in a row to avoid a first-round defeat. In the first set, the unorthodox Taipei star Su -Wei Hsieh went a breakup and looked to close the set before the left-handed Pliskova broke forced a tiebreak and won it comfortably 7-6(3).

Pliskova was serving for the match in the second set, but this time it was Su-Wei who broke and forced a tiebreak and won the second set 7-6(4). In the deciding set Su-Wei looked comfortable taking a 4-2 lead, but the world ranked 41  reeled out series of backhand winners to make a comeback and take 4 games in a row and win 6-4 in a tight match.

Second-seeded Timea Babos of Hungary recorded an unexpectedly easy win over Swedish  Johanna Larsson winning 6/1 6/1, while third-seeded  German  Maria Tatjana rolled past Russian  Vitalia Diatchenko  6/3 6/1.  Former winner here and finalist last year  Nao Hibino of  Japan stopped  qualifier Irina Khromacheva of Russia  6/3 6/2   sixth-seeded Aleksandra Krunic  finalist last week at Guangzhou did well to stave off a challenge from Dutch   Richel Hogenkamp  winning 7/6(5) 6/0


Alexandra Krunic who is going through the best phase of her career,  reaching   her first WTA-level final at Guangzhou last week  said"   It was a close and tight first set against Richel HogenKamp, She came from Seoul and me from Guangzhou and its been a long journey for both of us  ,  it was more of  a mental match ,it was difficult to maintain momentum , but I'm happy I took the first set and she cracked up in the second . The first match is difficult, I find the courts have been resurfaced and to my liking.

Speaking after her match Third seed Maria Tatjana who had a relatively easy day said " I played some aggressive tennis and played well today, hope that I keep the same form for the rest of the week ".

Japan's Kurumi Nara outclassed local wildcard Nigina Abduraimova  6/1 6/1  to end the home challenge at the event.

Results Singles ( First Round)

[1] Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) vs Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) 7/6(3) 6/7 (4) 6/4

Kurumi Nara (JPN) [WC] vs Nigina Abduraimova (UZB) 6/1 6/1

[7] Nao Hibino (JPN)  vs [Q] Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 6/3 6/2

Jana Cepelova (SVK) vs Tereza Martincova (CZE) 2/6 6/0 6/2

[6] Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) vs Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 7/6(5) 6/0

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) vs Evgeniya Rodina (RUS)  6/2 6/2

[3] Tatjana Maria (GER) vs Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) 6/3 6/1

[2] Timea Babos (HUN) vs Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6/1 6/1


Doubles (First Round)

[2] Nao Hibino (JPN) / Oksana Kalashnikova (GEO) vs Lidziya Marozava (BLR) / Sabina Sharipova (UZB) 6/3 6/2

Monique Adamczak (AUS) / Lizette Cabrera (AUS) vs Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) / Kateryna Kozlova (UKR)  6/4 4/6 10/7

Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) / Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) vs [WC] Olesya Kim (UZB) / Sevil Yuldasheva (UZB)  6/0 6/2


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