"I always love to start the year here," Karolina Pliskova smilingly said after winning the Brisbane International in January defeating Lesia Tsurenko. The Australian Open she'd gone through to the quarterfinal win over Serena Williams in the process.
Here at the BNP Paribas at Indian Wells, Pliskova is doing well as she bypassed Misaki Doi in three sets in the opening round and then Ysaline Bonaventure in straight sets. She is moving into the third round to face Anett Kontaveit and can remember a few years ago her 2017 Wimbledon title.
She had beaten out Angelique Kerber to capture the number one world ranking in July. The WTA CEO Steve Simon had said that "Karolina is an exemplary athlete on and off the court and she truly deserves this fantastic moment in her career."
As a result of turning number one, there was a billboard of her at Times Square in New York City. Tough as it was, Pliskova could only hold the honour for a month but went on to remain in the top 10, from August 2017 until now.
Many things have transitioned in her life from then to now. She had split with her coach of eight months Tomas Krupa and married her manager Michal Hrdlicka. She had focused on getting her professional life in gear and hired Australian former WTA player now commentator Rennae Stubbs as her coach.
Rennae has accumulated 60 WTA doubles titles on tour and Pliskova felt it would be a great fit to excel her ranking and career. The Czech also hired Conchita Martinez, another former player having 33 singles and 13 doubles titles.
She previously was Captain of the Davis and Fed Cup of Spain and part-time coach of Garbine Muguruza. The Czech mentioned a bit about Martinez's regime of doing a lot with practising and gym time. She had told wtatennis.com media about the Spaniard's work ethics saying "..she makes me work every time, more and more...it's good for me.
So far all good..." Pliskova has created a bit of history as there aren't many women tennis coaches, let alone a player male or female having two. The Czech feels comfort in using both coaches as they become available.
Could this be the formula for her self-confidence and winning techniques? It might be, but the year is young yet and Pliskova feels secure with her tennis strategies and results. She's already captured 12 WTA singles titles.
Might she soon be looking and holding the 13th? Anything is possible for the Czech as she is adjusting to a stable ranking and consistent play. Success will surely be a driving force going steadily her way.