Rybarikova stuns Pliskova in Birmingham opener

Rybarikova was in complete control from the start as she claimed the victory in just over an hour.

World number seven Karolina Pliskova's Wimbledon preparations suffered a setback in a 6-2 6-3 defeat by Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.   -  AFP

World number seven Karolina Pliskova's Wimbledon preparations suffered a setback in a 6-2 6-3 defeat by Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia in the opening round of the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham on Monday.

The 29-year-old Rybarikova, who ended Pliskova's Wimbledon campaign last year in a three-set thriller, was in complete control from the start as she claimed the victory in just over an hour.

“Karolina is a great player, and I have a lot of respect for her,” Rybarikova, the 2009 winner in Birmingham, said courtside.

“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. It could have been a different result today, but I'm so happy that I won this match.”

Rybarikova will face Kristina Mladenovic for a place in the quarterfinals after the Frenchwoman edged past Czech Katerina Siniakova 1-6 6-2 6-4.