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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday September 2, 2021

 
Karolina Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova saved a match point and claimed a dramatic victory Amanda Anisimova on Thursday in New York.

Photo Source: Getty

Not only did Karolina Pliskova set a new tournament record for aces in a women’s singles match, she also saved a match point to win what could go down as the best match of the 2021 US Open – certainly the first two rounds.

Tennis Express

The icy cool Czech was in rude form from start to finish, but matched by a bristling energy that came from Amanda Anisimova’s side of the court for the full duration of this titanic two hour and 21 minute struggle.

In the end – somehow – it was Pliskova, guided by 24 aces and a cool resolve, that triumphed 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-6(7) to book a third-round clash with Ajla Tomljanovic.

“There was just one break in the whole match, which is incredible for like women's match,” Pliskova said after the match.


Anisimova slugged 23 forehand winners and 44 in total, while Pliskova held an absolute serving clinic. The No.4-seeded Czech won 78 percent of her first serve points and 56 percent of her second-serve points and rifled through service games like she had a plane to catch.

Even after falling in the second-set breaker and failing to convert four break points at 5-5 in the third set, Pliskova never backed off on serve, she just kept raining down bombs and playing exceptionally clean games.

“I thought we kind of, like, pushed each other with the serve, so that's why we hold,” Pliskova said. “There was one break in first set, but other than that we didn't break. I had couple of course breakpoints in the last game, but we didn't have many chances on the return. For women's tennis, normally there is break, break, break, break. That's quite impressive I think.

“Of course, the serve was huge part of this win.”

If it was a joyous occasion for Pliskova, it had to be bittersweet for Anisimova. She had rallied the Arthur Ashe faithful into a frenzy, but despite one of her most inspired efforts of the season, she feel painfully short, failing to convert her match point with Pliskova serving at 6-7 in the third-set tiebreaker (just two points after she brilliantly saved her own match point with a crisp forehand volley winner).


Pliskova came away impressed with what the 20-year-old World No.75 brought to the table. It would have been hard not to be.

“From the matches which we played, definitely this was the best one,” Pliskova said. “I know she had some really good wins in her career. I know she can play well, especially on hard court. I think this was really, like, good match from her. She was playing aggressive, just going for her shots. I thought she felt the game pretty good tonight.

“I'm lucky that she lost because I also I think she deserved to win. She was playing really good tennis. I think she's a good player. I didn't go on the court like, Okay, I beat her three times quite easy, it's going to be easy. For sure I thought I can win this match, but I was a bit surprised the way she played because she actually hold pretty good level till the end. Normally I think she can have some, let's say, windows where she's missing a bit more, but I don't think she had that tonight.”

 

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