For the fifth season in a row, Karolina Pliskova finished the season in the top-11 and was never closer to the top, claiming a career-high four WTA titles and trailing only to Ashleigh Barty. Karolina was the player to beat in Brisbane, Rome, Eastbourne and Zhengzhou, delivering excellent tennis on all surfaces and reaching the semi-final at the Australian Open.
Despite effective cooperation, Pliskova decided to part ways with Conchita Martinez at the end of the season, hiring Daniel Vallverdu ahead of 2020 and hoping to add more different elements to her game and finally chase that first Major crown.
Karolina and Conchita started working together at the US Open 2018 following the loss to Serena Williams, staying together during the offseason and announcing the official partnership in February. Kicking off the season ranked 8th, Karolina claimed the title in Brisbane after using a favorable draw, defeating Serena Williams in the quarter-final at the Australian Open before losing to Naomi Osaka in three sets in the battle for the final.
The Czech advanced into the last eight in Dubai and Indian Wells before seeking the title in Miami, falling to Ashleigh Barty in straight sets. Karolina suffered an early exit in Stuttgart, Madrid and Roland Garros but displayed everything from her clay-court arsenal to claim the title in Rome, moving from seventh place to world no.
2. The Czech played at her best in Eastbourne as well before experiencing another failure at Wimbledon, where she is yet to reach the quarter-final! Andreescu and Kuznetsova halted Pliskova in the quarter-final in Toronto and Cincinnati ahead of the US Open where she lost before the last eight for the third straight Major.
Zhengzhou proved to be a lucky ground for Karolina, lifting the trophy and advanced into the semi-final at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, losing to Ashleigh Barty in three sets to close the season. Pliskova will kick off the new season in Brisbane, facing Ajla Tomljanovic or Priscilla Hon in the second round.
"I played great tennis in 2019, embracing so many good tournaments and encounters and finishing almost at the top. Still, I felt that there's no way Conchita Martinez can help me more and that's why I changed my coaching staff.
It will be a new experience for both Daniel Vallverdu and me; I think he can add some useful elements to my tennis. We will see how everything goes in tournaments; I think we will need some time to get used to it. He is a smart guy and it should be good, no matter it is the WTA Tour; he should adapt to the women's game. I like everything here in Australia, love the country and the people. I think the atmosphere here is always great."