Surprisingly, Karolina Pliskova is yet to secure a Grand Slam title during the course of her professional career. The Czech-born 27-year-old acheived one of her many goals when she became the 23rd player to rise to the top of the rankings in 2017, yet despite reaching the final of the 2016 US Open, she has so far fallen short in each of the four major events on the tennis calendar.
Karolina Pliskova becomes first Czech woman since 1978 to capture Rome, her biggest clay title: https://t.co/hpJHrkPL9R #IBI19 pic.twitter.com/f7hdiEt28X
— TENNIS.com (@Tennis) May 19, 2019
Pliskova has been one of the sports most consistent performers on the WTA tour in recent years, and she rarely finds herself ranked outside of the top ten. Despite reaching the semi-finals of the French Open in 2017, her game hasn’t always been suited to the slower clay courts, however her recent victory over Johanna Konta in the Italian Open suggests that she has the tools to challenge at Roland Garros this year. As of May 20th, Pliskova has been priced up at 14/1 by Betway to secure her first Grand Slam title in Paris, and she will certainly arrive in the French capital full of confidence. She admitted by she was left in disbelief following her success in Rome, and the Monte Carlo resident also told reporters that she wasn’t “super confident” going into the tournament. She described her recent achievement as “a little bit of miracle for me,” and will be buoyed by her unexpected triumph. Pliskova’s game is very consistent, and she hit 21 winners against the Brit, committing a paltry 14 errors en route to her achievement.
?? Karolina Pliskova defeats Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4 to claim the women’s singles title in Rome! ??@KaPliskova | #ibi19 pic.twitter.com/ZGtwKUYREB
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) May 19, 2019
Despite a dearth of Grand Slam glory, she has managed to secure 13 career titles, with her triumph in the 2016 Cincinnati Masters one of the more eyecatching successes on the list. The tournament, which is more commonly known as the Western and Southern Open, is the second largest summer tennis event in the US, and it always attracts a hugely competitive field. Twelve months later, she went into the Rogers Cup at the top of the draw, but despite reaching the quarter-final stage of the competition, she was unable to make the final four.
She has also enjoyed success in Doha, Prague, Stuttgart, Eastbourne and at the Aegon Open in Nottingham. More recently, she has tasted victory in Tokyo, and continued where she left off at the beginning of 2019. She secured her second title in Brisbane by overpowering Lesia Tsurenko 4-6, 7-5 6-2, but survived a scare along the way. The Ukrainian found herself serving for the match, but was unable to hold her nerve, making three unforced errors to hand her opponent a significant lifeline. Her early season triumphs helped her climb back up the WTA rankings, and she will be keen to add futher titles to her portfolio this summer.
She has also enjoyed success in doubles, collecting trophies in Nuremburg, Hong Kong and Birmingham.
Grand Slam Record
Prior to 2016, Pliskova had rarely made it beyond the second round of any Grand Slam, but she did end the year on a high with a run to the final of the US Open. She arrived in New York unbeaten in her last 11 matches, and had also amassed a WTA-tour leading 447 aces, but despite her recent run, she was unable to outlast Angelique Kerber, who wrapped up her second Grand Slam title of the year at Flushing Meadows.
Since that defeat, the Czech has made it to the last eight in each her last three appearances at the Australian Open, and she also progressed to the final four of the French Open in 2017, despite never looking entirely comfortable on the surface.
Wimbledon has been a constant source of frustration for the 27-year-old, and as of May 2019, she has never made it beyond the fourth round of the iconic grass-court event. Despite her lack of progress at SW19, her game is very much suited to the grass courts, and she’s suffered just seven defeats in her last 20 outings on this surface.
Karolina Pliskova has her 11th career title! ?
The Czech won 64 64 to end US Open champion Naomi Osaka’s incredible 10-match winning streak and claim the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo ?? pic.twitter.com/gpBELnylY4
— ITF (@ITF_Tennis) September 23, 2018
Will She Break Her Duct in 2019?
Although she has been remarkably consistent throughout her entire career, Pliskova is playing some of her best tennis. She is currently third in the WTA race, and is clearly enjoying her time on the tour.
She is now coached by Conchita Martinez, and that change of personnel does appear to have spurred her on, and triggered an improvement in her overall play. The Spaniard reached the final of each of the four Grand Slams, and enjoyed notable success at Wimbledon during her distinguished playing career, and it is the second time that the pair have teamed up.
Her recent success in Rome suggests that she can progress to the latter stages of the French Open once more, whilst she will also be determined to end her barren run in West London. However, her powerful serve, and accurate serve-and-volley game will surely thrive at the US Open. The New York hard courts are ideal for Pliskova’s forceful game, and her persistance will surely prompt errors from her opponents.
The Czech is one of the best all-round performers on the tour, and based on recent evidence, it surely won’t be long until she clinches her first Grand Slam.