World No 2 Karolina Pliskova passed her tricky opener test to reach the Australian Open second round on Tuesday. The 27-year-old Czech defeated France’s Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 7-5.
Johanna Konta, the 12th seed, was the biggest seed to fall in the women’s opening draw thus far, as Ons Jabeur of Tunisia knocked her out 6-4, 6-2 in the first round.
Maria Sharapova, who needed a wildcard to make the main draw, was dealt a further blow as the five-time Grand Slam champion was beaten in straight sets in first round of the second straight Grand Slam.
Croatia’s 19th-seeded Donna Vekic beat the Russian 6-3, 6-4. There were flashes of the form that helped make Sharapova one of the most marketable women in the sport, with the 145th-ranked…