Rybarikova stuns Pliskova in Birmingham

Magdalena Rybarikova was responsible for a big upset on the opening day of the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham, knocking out third seed Karolina Pliskova.

Pliskova’s Wimbledon preparations suffered a major setback as she went down 6-2, 6-3 to her Slovakian opponent.

It’s not the first time Rybarikova has beaten Pliskova on grass – a year ago, she came from a set down to defeat her at Wimbledon too.

“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.

“I put so many returns in, and maybe she was thinking about our last match in Wimbledon. I was playing really well there, but every match is different. It could have been a different result today, but I’m so happy that I won this match.”

Up next, Rybarikova will face Kristina Mladenovic after the Frenchwoman edged Katerina Siniakova 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Top seeds Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina will start their campaigns on Tuesday.

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