The 27-year-old old Karolina Pliskova has been one of the best players on the Tour in the first four months of the season, scoring 21 wins to top the standings with Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic, also standing third in the WTA Race.
Karolina kicked off the season with a title in Brisbane and was one of the players to beat at the Australian Open as well, saving five match points against Serena Williams before bowing out to Naomi Osaka in three sets. As usual, Pliskova was there to lead the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup against Romania in Ostrava, failing to beat Simona Halep and send her country into the semi-final, also losing at home for the first time since 2009 and the USA clash!
Karolina continued her season regularly but she was never at her 100%, feeling ill in Ostrava and struggling to find 'A game' in Dubai and Indian Wells despite reaching the quarters. Unwilling to slow down, Pliskova entered Miami as well, scoring five wins to advance into the final where Ashleigh Barty defeated her in straight sets despite a great battle in the opener.
Doing her best to defend Stuttgart title, Karolina tried to test her game in Germany as well, losing to Victoria Azarenka in the second round and receiving the final warning sign that she must take the foot off the pedal, deciding to skip home Prague Open where she was supposed to be the top seed.
The Czech revealed she was unable to train at full speed since Miami and that she almost withdrew from Stuttgart as well, still opting to play and delivering a great performance against Azarenka considering her current shape.
Pliskova will make a return in Madrid and with changes in the coaching staff, ending her collaboration with Rennae Stubbs and announcing Conchita Martinez as the full-time coach. Pliskova and Martinez worked together at the US Open last year when the Czech reached the quarters and they were back together at the beginning of 2019, with the Spaniard helping Karolina to achieve consistent results, also arranging clay preparations in Barcelona a few weeks ago.
A year ago, Pliskova was the semi-finalist in Madrid, losing early in Rome before the third round appearance at Roland Garros, winning just three games against Maria Sharapova. “We’ve been gradually getting to know with Conchita since the last year’s U.S.
Open and I’m so satisfied with her work that I was striving for full-time cooperation. I’m glad we managed to reach an agreement. I thanked Rennae for quality cooperation and wish her good luck in her personal as well as professional life,” Karolina said.