WTA 2016 Korea Open Tennis Championships

Flipkens Returns to Beat Pliskova in Seoul

Kirsten Flipkens reaches the second round of the 2016 Korea Open Tennis Championships over the Czech Republic's Kristina Pliskova.

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Kirsten Flipkens
Kirsten Flipkens topples Kristina Pliskova to earn her first match victory in her last five tournaments.

Belgian world no. 58 Kirsten Flipkens survives Czech world no. 97 Kristyna Pliskova to advance to the second round of the 2016 Korea Open Tennis Championships. Kirsten Flipkens wins consecutive sets after falling behind on the first to claim a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 come-from-behind victory after a one hour and fifty-three minute first round match. Flipkens is coming off a first round exit in the 2016 US Open less than a fortnight ago, and has made it past the first round four times in her last five WTA tournaments. With the first round victory in Seoul, Flipkens also draws first blood against the 24-year old Kristina Pliskova in their career head to head match record.

Kristina Pliskova kicks of the first round match with four straight wins right out the gate for an early 4-0 lead. Kirsten Flipkens responds by winning three consecutive games to cut the lead down to one at 4-3. Pliskova wins the following game to reach set point at 5-3. Flipkens then wins back-to-back games to save set point two consecutive times. Kristina Pliskova retaliates with two straight wins of her own to claim the match opener after a fifty-three minute first frame.

Kristina Pliskova won the service game on both fronts over Kirsten Flipkens during the first set. Pliskova finished with 16 of 28 (57%) first serve points as well as 16 of 31 (52%) second serves. Kirsten Flipkens lagged Pliskova on the serves with just 11 of 23 (48%) first serve points won and a meager 4 of 12 (33%) second serve total. Pliskova tops off her service game dominance, firing 5 aces to 2 against Kirsten Flipkens. Kristina Pliskova also took a slight lead on the breakers, as she converts three of her eight break point attempts. Pliskova was able to save seven of Flipkens’ nine break point opportunities throughout the first frame.

Kirsten Flipkens starts the second set by winning the first three games, on her way to winning four of the first five games, to establish a 4-1 lead. Pliskova trims the lead down to two by winning the sixth game 40-30, but drops the following two games to allow Flipkens to tie the first round match after just a thirty-minute second frame.

Kristina Pliskova was able to come up with 2 aces to love against Kirsten Flipkens during the second set. Flipkens recovers on the first and second serves to win the service game over Pliskova. Kirsten Flipkens won 10 of 12 (83%) first serve points against an 8 of 13 (62%) first serve finish from Pliskova. Flipkens had a slight edge on the second serves, finishing with 6 of 11 (55%) second serve points won over 5 of 15 (36%) second serves from her Czech opponent. Kirsten Flipkens also gets the only break points of the match-tying second frame. She broke Pliskova twice out of four break point opportunities, while not allowing Pliskova for a single chance at break point throughout the second frame.

Kirsten Flipkens begins the final frame by winning the first game of the set for a second consecutive time in the first round match. Flipkens once against takes the four of the first five games for another 4-1 start. Kristina Pliskova scores her final point of the match in the sixth to gain ground on Flipkens at 4-2. Kirsten Flipkens then seals the first round match by taking the seventh and eight games against the lower ranked Pliskova after just twenty-nine minutes of play in the final frame.

Kirsten Flipkens controlled the service game for a second time in the first round match; as she wins 9 of 11 (82%) first serve points and 8 of 12 (67%) second serve points. By contrast, Kristina Pliskova finished behind on both categories, with just 7 of 14 (50%) first serve points as well as half of Flipkens’ second serve total with 4 of 7 (57%) second serves won.

The sixth seeded Kirsten Flipkens will face Romania’s world no. 135 Maria Patricia Tig in the second round. Their upcoming match in Seoul will be the first ever meeting between the 30-year old Flipkens and the 22-year old Maria Patricia Tig.

Kateryna Kozlova
Kateryna Kozlova defeats Tereza Martincova to reach the second round for the just the second time in her last ten WTA tournaments.

In other 2016 Korea Open Tennis Championships singles draw results, Ukrainian world no. 98 Kateryna Kozlova routs Czech world no. 169 Tereza Martincova to reach the second round in Seoul. Kozlova steps over Martincova with a 6-2, 6-3 sweep after a relatively brief forty-eight minute first round match. This is the just the second time in her last 10 WTA tournaments that the 22-year old Kozlova won her first round match. Kateryna Kozlova also improves to a 2-0 singles head to head match record over her 22-year old contemporary.

Up next for the Kateryna Kozlova is a second round matchup with tournament second seed Johanna Larsson. Entering their Korea Open match, the lower ranked Kateryna Kozlova holds a 1-0 singles head to head match record. Kozlova took the win in the pair’s maiden match during the round of 32 of the 2016 ‘s-Hertogenbosch last June.

Swedish world no. 45 Johanna Larsson reaches the second round of the Korea Open Tennis Championships by beating the USA’s world no. 128 Grace Min. After conceding a 6-0 opening frame to the 22-year old Grace Min, Johanna Larsson recovers by winning back-to-back sets to emerges with a 0-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory after a one hour and forty-seven minute first round match. With the win, Johanna Larsson has now been able to reach the second round of her last seven WTA tournaments. Johanna Larsson’s last tasted a first round exit was during this year’s Wimbledon Grand Slam last June.

Shuai Zhang sets up a meeting with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the Korean Open round two.
Shuai Zhang sets up a meeting with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round of the Korean Open.

2016 Korea Open Tennis Championships third seed Shuai Zhang ends Greece’s world no. 99 Maria Sakkari to book her second round entry. The higher ranked Zhang survives a relentless Sakkari for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory after a marathon two hour and seven minute match. A semifinalist in the 2016 Japan Women’s Tennis Open last week, Zhang has now advanced past the first round of her last eight tournaments including a third round US Open exit that netted her $137,503 less than a month ago. Shuai Zhang also gets first blood against Maria Sakkari in their career singles head to head matchup.

World no. 40 Shuai Zhang will face American world no. 133 Bethanie Mattek-Sands in round two. Mattek-Sands currently holds a 1-0 advantage over the higher ranked Zhang in their singles head to head match record. The pair’s last meeting though, was three years ago. Mattek-Sands swept Zhang in their first career match during the 2013 Miami Masters qualifying stage.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands makes her way to the second round by defeating the slightly higher ranked Stefanie Voegele. Mattek-Sands outlasts the world no. 101 Voegele with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win after a one hour and fifty-five minute first round match. The victory gives Mattek-Sands her second first round win in her last 10 WTA tournaments. Bethanie Mattek-Sands also improves her singles match record with Stefanie Voegele at 2-1. Mattek-Sands has taken the win in the pair’s last two meetings dating back to 2014.

Irina-Camelia Begu
Irina-Camelia Begu gets her first match win since winning the 2016 Brasil Tennis Cup title.

Tournament number one seed Irina-Camelia Begu eases past South Korean wildcard Su Jeong Jang to reach the second round of the 2016 Korea Open Tennis Championships. Begu eliminates the local with a 6-2, 6-1 victory in a one hour and eleven minute first round match. Since winning the 2016 Brasil Tennis Cup championship, this Seoul victory is Irina-Camelia Begu’s first match win in her last four WTA tournaments. Begu also wins first blood over Su Jeong Jan in their singles head to head matchup.

The Korea Open Tennis Championships defending champion will be matched up against Slovakian world no. 102 Jana Cepelova. Heading into their Korea Open meeting, the lower ranked Cepelova holds a 1-0 advantage over the top seeded Begu in their career singles head to head match record. Irina-Camelia Begu will be looking to avenge a 2013 Cincinnati Masters semifinal loss in the pair’s maiden singles match.

Spain's Lara Arruabarrena
Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena will face American next generation talent Louisa Chirico in round two.

Spain’s world no. 90 Lara Arruabarrena routs Korea Open qualifier Arantxa Rus to reach the second round in Seoul. Arruabarrena goes past the Netherlands’ world no. 248 Rus with a 6-2, 6-2 straight sets win after a fifty-three minute first round match. Arruabarrena has now advanced to the second round for the second time in her last five WTA tournaments. Arruabarrena last moved past the first during the 2016 Ericsson Open last July, where she notably took an upset win against current world no. 1 Angelique Kerber in the round of sixteen. The 24-year old Lara Arruabarrena also gets first blood against the 26-year old Arantxa Rus in the pair’s singles head to head match record.

Lara Arruabarrena will face American world no. 75 Louisa Chirico in the second round. The lower ranked Arruabarrena holds a 1-0 win record over Chirico having defeated the 20-year old American in their first ever match during the 2015 Rogers Cup qualifying stage.

Monica Niculescu
Monica Niculescu ends Eri Hozumi to enter the second round of the 2016 Korea Open Tennis Championships.

Korea Open fifth seed Monica Niculescu eliminates Japanese qualifier Eri Hozumi to reach the second round of the Seoul tournament. Niculescu marches past the world no. 199 Hozumi with a 6-3, 6-0 sweep in a fifty-nine minute first round match. Niculescu is playing in her first tournament since her third round exit in this year’s US Open. The Korea Open win also gives Monica Niculescu first blood over Eri Hozumi in their career singles head to head match record.

Monica Niculescu moves on to a second round match with Slovakian world no. 100 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. Entering their Seoul second round showdown, the higher ranked Niculescu hold an undefeated 2-0 record over the 22-year old Schmiedlova. This Korea Open match will be Niculescu and Schmiedlova’s first meeting since 2014.

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova enters the second round in Seoul by dominating Poland’s world no. 275 Katarzyna Piter. Schmiedlova sweeps Piter 6-3, 6-2 in a one hour and twenty-two minute first round match. The win gives Schmiedlova her first second round appearance in her last four WTA tournaments. She also improves to a 3-1 record over the 25-year old Katarzyna Piter in their career singles head to head matchup.

Kristina Mladenovic
Kristina Mladenovic ends Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum to set up a second round match with Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Korea Open fourth seed Kristina Mladenovic dispatches tournament qualifier Luksika Kumkhum to enter round two. Mladenovic moves past Kumkhum with a 6-2, 7-5 straight sets win after a one-and-a-half hour first round match. Kristina Mladenovic also takes first blood against Luksika Kumkhum in their career singles head to head match record.

Kristina Mladenovic will face Spain’s world no. 139 Sara Sorribes Tormo in round two. The Seoul second round match will be the first ever meeting between Kristina Mladenovic and the 20-year old Sara Sorribes Tormo.

In other 2016 Korea Open Tennis Championships results, the doubles team of Japan’s Akiko Omae and Thailand’s Peangtarn Plipuech defeats the doubles team of Korean Na-Lae Han and Thailand’s Nicha Lertpitaksinchai to reach the second round of the doubles draw. Omae and Plipuech sweep Han and Lertpitaksinchai 6-4, 6-3 after a one hour and thirteen minute first round match.

Akiko Omae and Peangtarn Plipuech will face the top seeded doubles team of Eri Hozumi and Oksana Kalashnikova in the second round of the Korea Open.

Eri Hozumi and Oksana Kalashnikova ease past the doubles team of the USA’s Jacqueline Cako and the United Kingdom’s Emily Webley-Smith to reach round two of the 2016 Korea Open Tennis Championships doubles draw. Hozumi and Kalashnikova eliminate Cako and Webley-Smith with a 6-4, 6-2 sweep after a one hour and four minute match.

The doubles team of Japan’s Ayaka Okuno and the Netherlands’ Arantxa Rus also reach the second round of the Korean Open with an upset win over tournament four seeds Lenka Kuncikova and Karolina Stuchla. Okuno and Rus stun their Czech opponents with a 6-3, 7-6 sweep after a one hour and eighteen minute match.

Ayaka Okuno and Arantxa Rus will be matched up with the Sino-Russian team of Riko Sawayanagi and Ksenia Lykina.