DUBAI: 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.