Karolina Pliskova falls at first hurdle in Birmingham

WTA Tour

Third seed Karolina Pliskova was a first-round casualty at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham.

The Czech suffered a 6-2, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Magdalena Rybarikova, who won the title back in 2009.

“I always say that every match is very different,” Rybarikova said. “Karolina is a great player, and I have a lot of respect for her. Today I don’t think it was her best day, but it was all about serves and returns and I was just better at that. That was the key.”

She will face Kristina Mladenovic next after the Frenchwoman came from a set down to beat Czech Katerina Siniakova 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.

World No 18 Naomi Osaka had no such problems as she brushed aside British wild card Katie Boulder 6-1, 6-2.

Australian Daria Gavrilova also advanced as she beat former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 7-6, (8-6).

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