Vandeweghe wins 1st match of year to advance in Dubai

Andrea Petkovic of Germany returns the ball to Camila Giorgi of Italy during the first day of the Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
AP

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) American CoCo Vandeweghe won her first match of the year with a 7-6 (5), 6-1 upset against sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova in the first round at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday.

The 46th-ranked Vandeweghe, who ended last season with a left ankle injury, had first-round exits at three previous tournaments this season – Auckland, Sydney and the Australian Open.

''Yeah, first win of the year,'' Vandeweghe said. ''It was very tough going into the Australia swing because I finished last year injured.''

While the first set was close, Vandeweghe, an aggressive player with a power serve, dismantled her Czech opponent in the second set, winning the final six games in a row.

''She's a very dangerous player,'' Pliskova said. ''You never know what's gonna come from her side.''

The 14th-ranked Pliskova lost in last year's Dubai final to Simona Halep.

Germany's Julia Goerges and Andrea Petkovic also posted first-round wins.

Goerges upset eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-0, 6-1, while Petkovic, a former top-10 player, defeated Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-2, 6-1.

Earlier, American Madison Brengle had a successful Dubai debut by coming from behind in both sets to beat Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 7-5.

Brengle trailed 2-0 in the first set, and 4-0 in the second against Makarova, a Dubai quarterfinalist last year.