Tennis: Western and Southern Open

Aug 16, 2019; Mason, OH, USA; Karolina Pliskova (CZE) serves against Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic beat Germany's Laura Siegemund in a self-described "ugly match" Thursday to reach the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The former World No. 1 fell behind 3-1 in the opener before finding her form and winning the next six games in the 6-3, 6-3 decision.

Following up her runner-up performance here a year ago, Pliskova finished the 86-minute match with eight aces, 22 winners and 15 unforced errors.

"I'm not sure if it was really nice tennis today," Pliskova said during her on-court interview. "I think she has a very ugly game for me, so I'm never going to feel amazing playing her. I'm just happy to be through because this was an ugly match for me."

Up next for Pliskova, who is coming off her third Brisbane International title two weeks ago, is No. 30 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian advanced with a 7-5, 7-6 (1) win over Taylor Townsend.

Another top finisher from 2019 bowed out in the second round. No. 26 seed Danielle Collins, who made a surprising run to the semifinals last year, lost 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 to Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan. Collins' 48 winners were canceled out by 57 unforced errors, including 25 in the third set.

Putintseva will face Wimbledon champion and No. 4 seed Simona Halep of Romania, who moved into the third round with a 6-2, 6-4 win against British qualifier Harriet Dart. Halep closed out the victory on her fourth match point.

"It was not easy at all," Halep said. "Even if she doesn't hit very hard, she has good angles. Her ball doesn't have that much power to play against, so I had to work a little bit more."

No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine served nine aces and won 74 percent of her points at the net in a 6-2, 7-6 (6) win against Lauren Davis, improving her record against the American to 5-0.

Svitolina has reached the third round in 13 of her last 14 majors. She will meet Garbine Muguruza of Spain, a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 winner against Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.

Other seeded players advancing to the final 32 included No. 9 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, No. 16 Elise Mertens of Belgium, No. 17 Angelique Kerber of Germany, No. 19 Donna Vekic of Croatia and No. 28 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia.

Catherine Cartan Bellis eliminated No. 20 seed Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-4.

--Field Level Media

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