Karolína Plíšková

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Karolína Plíšková
Pliskova Ka. EBN17 (7).jpg
Karolína Plíšková at the 2017 Aegon International Eastbourne
Country (sports) Czech Republic
ResidenceMonte Carlo, Monaco
Born (1992-03-21) 21 March 1992 (age 29)
Louny, Czechoslovakia
(now Czech Republic)
Height1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Turned pro2009
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
CoachOlga Savchuk (2019–)[1]
Azuz Simcich (2017—)[2]
Sascha Bajin (2020–)[3]
Prize moneyUS$ 22,194,804[4]
Official websitekarolina-pliskova.com
Singles
Career record556–309 (64.3%)
Career titles16
Highest rankingNo. 1 (17 July 2017)
Current rankingNo. 7 (12 July 2021)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenSF (2019)
French OpenSF (2017)
WimbledonF (2021)
US OpenF (2016)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsSF (2017, 2018, 2019)
Doubles
Career record177–138 (56.2%)
Career titles5
Highest rankingNo. 11 (31 October 2016)
Current rankingNo. 68 (12 July 2021)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenSF (2016)
French OpenQF (2021)
WimbledonSF (2016)
US Open3R (2016)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Wimbledon2R (2014)
Team competitions
Fed CupW (2015, 2016, 2018)
Hopman CupRR (2016)
Last updated on: 14 July 2021.

Karolína Hrdličková (born 21 March 1992), born and known professionally as Karolína Plíšková (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkaroliːna ˈpliːʃkovaː]), is a Czech professional tennis player. She is a former world No. 1 in singles, reaching the top of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) rankings on 17 July 2017 and holding the position for eight weeks.[6] On 31 October 2016, she peaked at world No. 11 in the doubles rankings. Known for her powerful serve and forehand, Plíšková has won 16 singles and five doubles titles on the WTA tour, 10 singles and six doubles titles on the ITF Circuit, and over $20 million in prize money. She has reached two Grand Slam singles finals at the 2016 US Open and the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. As a junior, Plíšková won the girls' singles event at the 2010 Australian Open. She has also played for the Czech Republic in Fed Cup competition.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Plíšková was born in Louny to Radek Plíšek and Martina Plíšková, and has an identical twin sister, Kristýna, who is two minutes older and is also a tennis player.[8][9] She currently lives in Monte Carlo. In 2018 she married her boyfriend Michal Hrdlička.[10] As she decided to take his last name, her present official name is Karolína Hrdličková (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkaroliːna ˈɦr̩dlitʃkovaː]).

Career[edit]

2010[edit]

Karolína Plíšková won Australian Open junior title, defeating Laura Robson in the girls' final.

2012[edit]

Plíšková played her first senior Grand Slam tournament main draw at the 2012 French Open. To qualify, she defeated Dia Evtimova, Tamaryn Hendler and Laura Robson. She lost in the first round to world No. 8, Marion Bartoli, in straight sets.

2013: First WTA title[edit]

Plíšková started the year in Brisbane International. She however lost to Olga Puchkova in the first round in two sets. Then in her next tournament in Sydney she qualified, beating Alexandra Panova, Irina Falconi and Estrella Cabeza Candela. In the first round she lost to the third seed, Sara Errani.

Plíšková won her maiden WTA Tour title at the Malaysian Open. She defeated several seeded players to reach the final against the American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, defeating her in three sets.

At the Generali Ladies Linz in October, Plíšková won her first WTA title in doubles alongside sister Kristýna, becoming the first set of twins in history to win a doubles title together on the tour.[11]

2014: Breakthrough[edit]

Plíšková at the 2014 China Open

2014 was a breakthrough year for Plíšková. After consecutive second-round finishes in Auckland and at the Australian Open, she reached her second career WTA tour final in Pattaya City, defeating top-50 players Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sorana Cîrstea before losing to Ekaterina Makarova in the final. She then reached the third round of Indian Wells, the quarterfinals of the Monterrey Open and the semifinals in Kuala Lumpur between March and April. In May, she reached her third career final in Nuremberg, losing to second seed Eugenie Bouchard in three sets. She broke into the top-50 in July and defeated world number 9 Ana Ivanovic in the second round of the US Open. After playing in America, she reached two finals in two consecutive weeks – in Hong Kong, where she lost to Sabine Lisicki, and in Seoul, which she won, defeating Varvara Lepchenko in the final to take her second career title. A third overall title (and second of the year) in Linz ensured Plíšková finished the year ranked world No. 24.

As an alternate, Plíšková made a round-robin appearance at the season-closing Tournament of Champions, in lieu of top seed Ekaterina Makarova, losing her sole match against Flavia Pennetta of Italy.

After reaching five finals and winning two of them, and appearing to a broader public at the US Open with a big win over a former world No. 1, 2014 was a breakthrough year for Plíšková. She leaped from world No. 67 to 24.[12]

2015: Top-10 debut[edit]

Plíšková at the 2015 Apia International Sydney

Plíšková began her year at the Brisbane International where she defeated former world No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion, Victoria Azarenka, in the first round before losing in the second. She reached her first WTA Premier-level final at the Apia International Sydney, defeating Carla Suárez Navarro and Angelique Kerber before losing to fellow Czech, Petra Kvitová, in two tie-breaking sets. As a consequence of this run, she broke into the world's top-20 for the first time in her career.

At the first Grand Slam event of the year in Australia, Plíšková reached the third round before losing to Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.

She made her debut for the Czech Republic Fed Cup team in the first round of the 2015 Fed Cup World Group in February, winning both of her rubbers against Françoise Abanda and Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada to help the Czechs to a 4–0 win in Québec.

As the eighth seed, Plíšková reached semifinal at Diamond Games Antwerp, before losing to eventual runner-up Carla Suárez Navarro. She then played at the 2015 Dubai Duty Free Championships and reached the final as the 17th seed, along the way beating No. 4 seed Ana Ivanovic, fellow Czech Lucie Šafářová, and the rising Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza. She lost in the final against the top seed Simona Halep.

Plíšková then played in Indian Wells, where she won a rematch with Muguruza in the third round before losing again to Halep. In Miami, Plíšková reached the quarterfinals where she lost to Andrea Petkovic. She was the top seed in her home tournament in Prague and reached the final by defeating Annika Beck, Tsvetana Pironkova, Denisa Allertová and Yanina Wickmayer, going to a third set in three of her four matches. In the final, she defeated fellow Czech Lucie Hradecká in another three-set battle to claim her fourth WTA title.

At the Madrid Open she beat Sílvia Soler Espinosa in the first round, but lost to Caroline Garcia in the second. At the Italian Open she lost in the first round to Timea Bacsinszky in straight sets. She lost in the second round of French Open as 12th seed to unseeded Andreea Mitu in straight sets after beating Zhang Shuai in the first round.

She reached another final at Aegon Classic, losing to Angelique Kerber in three sets. She lost to Agnieszka Radwańska at Aegon International in the third round. At Wimbledon, Plíšková defeated Irina Falconi in three sets before losing to CoCo Vandeweghe in the second round.

She made another final at Stanford Classic, losing once again to Angelique Kerber. Plíšková lost in the first round at Canadian Open to Mirjana Lučić-Baroni and in the third round of the Western & Southern Open to Jelena Janković and reached the quarterfinals of the Connecticut Open, losing to Lesia Tsurenko. Seeded 8th at the US Open, Plíšková suffered a shocking loss to Anna Tatishvili in the first round.

She made another two quarterfinals at Toray Pan Pacific Open and Wuhan Open, losing to Agnieszka Radwańska and Roberta Vinci respectively, but lost in the first round of China Open to Sloane Stephens in straight sets. Her next tournament was the Tianjin Open where she reached the semifinals, losing to Radwańska for the third time in 2015. She lost in second round of the Kremlin Cup to Anastasija Sevastova.

She reached a tour-leading sixth final at the WTA Elite Trophy but lost to Venus Williams in straight sets. She ended the year ranked No. 11 in singles and was the 13th most popular player of the year according to the WTA's website. Plíšková played as Czech No. 2 in the Fed Cup Final, losing to Maria Sharapova on Saturday. The following day, she defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in singles and won the deciding doubles rubber with Barbora Strýcová, against Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Vesnina, to win her first Fed Cup title.

2016: US Open singles runner-up, top 5 & doubles rise[edit]

Plíšková began her season at the 2016 Hopman Cup, where she partnered with Jiří Veselý to represent the Czech Republic. She recorded singles wins over Jarmila Wolfe and Victoria Duval.

She reached quarterfinals in Sydney by defeating Ana Ivanovic and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, both in straight sets, but lost to world No. 2, Simona Halep, in straight sets. At the 2016 Australian Open, Plíšková defeated Kimberly Birrell and Julia Görges (both in straight sets) in the first two rounds. However, she again lost to Makarova, who defeated her at the same round at last year's Australian Open. After the tournament, she competed at Fed Cup and earned important wins over Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu in Czech Republic's tie against Romania.

Her next tournament was the Dubai Tennis Championships, where she was defending last year's points as a finalist; however, she fell to Coco Vandeweghe in straight sets. Struggles continued as she lost to Margarita Gasparyan in the first round of the Qatar Open.

After receiving a first round bye in Indian Wells, Plíšková defeated Shelby Rogers and Ana Ivanovic, both in straight sets. She then defeated Johanna Konta in three sets and earned another straight sets win over rising star Daria Kasatkina, before losing in three sets to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka. Despite her good campaign in Indian Wells, Plíšková lost in the second round of the Miami Open to Tímea Babos after another first-round bye.

Plíšková opened her clay court season at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. She defeated the 2015 French Open finalist Lucie Šafářová in the first round in three sets and Ana Ivanovic in straight sets. However, she would fall to the top seed Agnieszka Radwańska in the third round. She next competed at the Prague Open. She cruised by Stefanie Vögele, Kateřina Siniaková, and Camila Giorgi in the first three rounds. However, she would lose in straight sets to Lucie Šafářová in the semifinals. Plíšková lost in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open to Madison Keys in straight sets and fell in the first round of the Italian Open to Daria Kasatkina. Her clay court season would come to a disappointing end as she would lose to the 108th ranked player in the world, Shelby Rogers in the first round of the French Open.

Plíšková won her first title of the year at the Nottingham Open. After a three set match with Anastasija Sevastova in the first round, she cruised to the final and beat Alison Riske for her first grass title. She then lost in the first round of the Birmingham Classic to Barbora Strýcová and reached the final of the Eastbourne International where she lost to Dominika Cibulková. At Wimbledon, Plíšková beat Yanina Wickmayer in three sets before losing to Misaki Doi in the second round.

Pliskova at the 2016 US Open

Plíšková began her hardcourt season at the Rogers Cup, where she beat Kateryna Bondarenko and Sara Errani (who had to withdraw from the match) before losing in straight sets to eventual champion Simona Halep. She then pulled out of the Olympics. Plíšková won her maiden WTA Premier tournament at the Western & Southern Open, defeating Germany's Angelique Kerber in straight sets in the final. Her victory denied Kerber the opportunity to take over the world No. 1 ranking from Serena Williams and enabled Williams to tie Steffi Graf's record of 186 consecutive weeks at #1.[13] At the US Open, Plíšková beat wildcard Sofia Kenin, qualifier Montserrat González and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova en route to her first Grand Slam round of 16, where she defeated No. 6 seed and two-time champion, Venus Williams, in three sets and ensured her first ever major quarterfinal where she faced Ana Konjuh.[14] She beat the Croatian in straight sets and reached her first Major semifinal, where she beat Serena Williams in straight sets to reach the final, where Serena Williams was attempting to vie her seventh US Open title. In the final, she lost to incoming No. 1, Angelique Kerber, despite winning the second set and being 3–1 up in the final set.

Plíšková continued the season with playing in Asia and the first tournament was in Tokyo, however she lost in the first match to qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich. In the next tournament in Wuhan she had bye in the first round and in the second round she defeated countrywoman Lucie Šafářová and the easily lost to Dominika Cibulková. Her run ended in the third round in Beijing either. In the first round she met Šafářová again and beat her in three sets and then won over Daria Kasatkina by winning 9–7 in tie-break third set. Then she lost to Johanna Konta in three sets.

Plíšková qualified for 2016 WTA Finals and was in the group with Agnieszka Radwanska, Garbine Muguruza and Svetlana Kuznetsova. The first match was against Muguruza, which Plíšková won and had to face Muguruza's matchpoints. In other matches the opponents were more successful and Plíšková ended the tournament in Singapore with one win and two losses. Plíšková played her final matches of 2016 in the Fed Cup Final in France. She beat Kristina Mladenovic in the first singles rubber, which saw the third set end in a score of 14–12. This was the longest rubber in a Fed Cup Final, in terms of games played.[15] In the next singles rubber against Caroline Garcia, Plíšková lost in three sets. The tie was even after the four singles rubbers, setting up a decisive doubles contest in which Plíšková partnered with Barbora Strýcová to defeat the WTA No. 1 ranked doubles team of Mladenovic/Garcia. With this victory over France, Plíšková and her Czech teammates completed a Fed Cup hat trick. It was also the second consecutive year that Plíšková and Strýcová won a decisive doubles rubber in the final.[16]

At the end of the season she changed coaches. Jiří Vaněk was substituted by David Kotyza, former coach of compatriot and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová.[17]

2017: French Open semifinal and world No. 1[edit]

In 2017, Plíšková started the season by playing in Brisbane, where she beat Yulia Putintseva and qualifier Asia Muhammad in two sets and then Roberta Vinci in three sets. She then defeated Elina Svitolina and Alizé Cornet (both in straight sets) and won her 7th title.[18]

At the 2017 Australian Open, she defeated easily Sara Sorribes Tormo and Anna Blinkova and beat Jelena Ostapenko in three sets despite being down 2–5 in the third. In the fourth round she defeated Daria Gavrilova and reached her second straight Grand Slam quarterfinal, where she was defeated by unseeded Mirjana Lučić-Baroni in three sets. Her ranking increased to a career-high of 3 in the world.

In February, Plíšková played first round of Fed Cup against Spain in Ostrava. She defeated Lara Arruabarrena and Garbiñe Muguruza, both in straight sets. Her next tournament was Doha, where she had a bye in the first round. She played against Caroline Garcia in the second round and revenged the loss from the end of 2016 with a straight sets win. Then she played two matches in one day due to rain and won both of them. The quarterfinal against Zhang Shuai lasted overall about 7 hours. However, she outlasted Shuai in two sets before edging No. 5 Dominika Cibulková in three sets, a match in which she hit a career-best 21 aces to beat the Slovakian for the first time. In the final she beat Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets to win her 8th WTA title. Plíšková lost in the second round to Kristina Mladenovic in Dubai.[18]

In the second round of the BNP Paribas Open, she defeated Monica Puig in three sets in a match full of errors. Although Plíšková's performance was not so confident, she defeated Irina-Camelia Begu in two sets, Timea Bacsinszky, who retired at the end of the sixth game, and Garbine Muguruza in two tie-breaks. In the semifinal against Svetlana Kuznetsova, Plíšková fell in straight tie-breaks. She reached the semifinals of the Miami Open, recording straight-set victories against qualifier Madison Brengle, Yulia Putintseva, countrywoman Barbora Strýcová, and Mirjana Lučić-Baroni before falling to Caroline Wozniacki in three sets.[18]

Plíšková kicked off the clay-court season in Stuttgart, where she defeated CoCo Vandeweghe in straight sets, but then lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Laura Siegemund. She then lost in the first round of home tournament Prague to Camila Giorgi. She also reached her first quarterfinals in Rome. In the first round she beat Lauren Davis, then Timea Bacsinszky before losing to eventual champion Elina Svitolina in straight sets in which was also her first defeat to Svitolina in her career. At the 2017 French Open, she beat Zheng Saisai, Ekaterina Alexandrova, and Carina Witthöft before winning a close fourth-round match against Veronica Cepede Royg. She then defeated Caroline Garcia to set up a semifinal encounter with Simona Halep, which she lost in three sets. The defeat prevented her from claiming the world No. 1 ranking at the conclusion of the tournament.[18] At Wimbledon, Plíšková was again one of the pre-tournament favourites, but suffered a second-round exit after losing in three-sets to world number 87 Magdaléna Rybáriková.

On 17 July, Plíšková reached the WTA world No. 1 ranking for the first time in her career. She was the sixth player to reach the No. 1 position without having won a Grand Slam tournament and the first female player representing the Czech Republic to achieve the feat.[19] Czechoslovakian-born Martina Navratilova had also achieved a WTA world No. 1 ranking, but was already representing the United States when she first topped the rankings in 1978.

Plíšková attained solid results during the U.S. summer swing, reaching the quarterfinals and semifinals of the Canadian Open and the Western & Southern Open respectively. Pliskova participated in the US Open, where she was the top seed for the first time in a major. Plíšková easily defeated Magda Linette in straight sets in the first round, and outlasted American Nicole Gibbs after dropping the first set. In the third round she made a furious comeback after being a set down and facing match point in the second set to defeat 27th seed Zhang Shuai. She defeated Jennifer Brady by dropping just one game and advanced to the quarterfinals. Plíšková lost to CoCo Vandeweghe in straight sets in the quarterfinals of the US Open.

At the Pan Pacific Open, she defeated Magda Linette before losing to Angelique Kerber. At the Wuhan Open, Plíšková reached the quarterfinal stage before losing to Ashleigh Barty in three sets. At the China Open, she defeated Carla Suarez Navarro and Andrea Petkovic to reach the third round, where she lost to Sorana Cîrstea. At the WTA Finals, Plíšková defeated Venus Williams in straight sets, and then faced Garbiñe Muguruza whom she also defeated in straight sets. These victories ensured that she would reach the semifinals of the WTA Finals for the first time. She then lost to Wozniacki in straight sets.

2018: Australian and US Open quarterfinals[edit]

In Brisbane, Plíšková lost in semifinals to Elina Svitolina.[20] At the Australian Open Plíšková reached quarterfinals for the second time, having defeated Verónica Cepede Royg, Beatriz Haddad Maia, Lucie Šafářová and Barbora Strýcová.[21] In quarterfinals she lost to Simona Halep in straight sets.[22] In Qatar Open, she reached the third round after receiving a first round bye and defeating Alizé Cornet in second round in straight sets. In third round she fell to American teenager Cici Bellis in straight sets, thus failing to defend her title. In Dubai after receiving first round bye, she defeated Carla Suarez Navarro in three sets in the second round. In the quarterfinals she was defeated by Angelique Kerber in straight sets. In Indian Wells Plisková reached the quarterfinals, where she lost to eventual champion Naomi Osaka. At the following tournament, the Miami Open, Plíšková was defeated by wildcard and former champion Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals.

Then Plíšková reached the quarterfinals in Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami. In April, she won the Stuttgart Open, defeating CoCo Vandeweghe in the final. She played also in the semifinals of Madrid.

After reaching the quarterfinals in New York, Plíšková defeated the newly crowned US Open champion Naomi Osaka to take Pan Pacific Open, her eleventh career title.

2019: Australian Open semifinal, second Premier-5 title[edit]

Plíšková opened her season at the Brisbane International, seeded fifth. She defeated Yulia Putintseva, Marie Bouzková, Ajla Tomljanović, Donna Vekić, and Lesia Tsurenko to win the title.

Plíšková was seeded seventh at the 2019 Australian Open. She defeated qualifier Karolína Muchová, Madison Brengle, 27th seed Camila Giorgi, and 18th seed Garbiñe Muguruza to reach her third consecutive quarterfinal at the tournament. There, she faced 16th seed Serena Williams, who had defeated top seed Simona Halep in the previous round. After going up a set and a break, Plíšková lost ground to Serena and found herself facing match point at five games to one in the third set. However, she pulled off a stunning comeback, winning six consecutive games and saving three additional match points at 5–4 to win the set 7–5.[23] She thus advanced to her first Australian Open semifinal, which she lost the next day to fourth seed Naomi Osaka in three sets.

Plíšková managed to carry her momentum through the early hard-court season, making the quarterfinals in both Dubai and Indian Wells. She then managed to reach her first career Premier Mandatory final at the Miami Open, after beating reigning French Open champion Simona Halep in the semifinals. However, she was defeated in the final by Ashleigh Barty in straight sets.

Plíšková got off to a disappointing start to the clay-court season, losing to former world No. 1, Victoria Azarenka, in her opening match in Stuttgart and Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Kozlova in the second round in Madrid. She rebounded, however, to win the biggest clay-court title of her career, and her second career Premier-5 title, at the Italian Open, avenging her previous defeat against Azarenka by defeating her in the quarterfinals, before beating Maria Sakkari in the semifinals and a resurgent Johanna Konta in the final. Plíšková rose back up to No. 2 in the rankings following her victory. At the French Open, she was seeded second and had an opportunity to take over the world No. 1 ranking from Osaka if she reached the final. However, despite being labeled a heavy favorite, she was upset in the third round by the 31st seed Petra Martić.

At the Birmingham Classic in June, she and her sister Kristýna became the first identical twins in WTA history to play each other in a main draw match. Karolina lost to her sister, who was ranked 112th.[24]

Plíšková's final grass court warmup tournament before Wimbledon was at the Eastbourne International, where she defeated Margarita Gasparyan, Elise Mertens, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Kiki Bertens and Angelique Kerber all in straight sets to pick up her 14th career title and her second at Eastbourne.[25] She reached the last 16 at Wimbledon, but was upset by the unseeded Karolína Muchová, with the match going to 13–11 in the final set.[26]

2020: Mixed Results[edit]

At Brisbane, Plíšková defeated Ajla Tomljanović, Alison Riske, Naomi Osaka, and Madison Keys to successfully defend her title, and set a record for the most Brisbane International titles. At the Australian Open, she defeated Kristina Mladenovic and Laura Siegemund, before falling to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round. At Dubai, Plíšková defeated Kristina Mladenovic, losing just three games, before losing in the quarterfinals to eventual finalist Elena Rybakina. She next competed at Doha, where she defeated Bernarda Pera before losing to Ons Jabeur. Before the suspension of the WTA tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Plíšková was ranked No. 3 in the world.

Her first tournament following the suspension was the Western & Southern Open where, as the top seed, she lost to Veronika Kudermetova in the second round. At the US Open, she defeated Anhelina Kalinina, before losing to Caroline Garcia in the second round.

She reached the final at Rome, where she was the defending champion, defeating Barbora Strýcová, Anna Blinkova, Elise Mertens, and Markéta Vondroušová, before retiring in the final against Simona Halep. At the French Open, she defeated Mayar Sherif in the first round, before losing to former champion Jeļena Ostapenko in the second round. Plíšková's final event of the year was at her home tournament of Ostrava, where, in receipt of a second round bye, she lost to Kudermetova for the second time in the year. Plíšková ended the year ranked No. 6 in the world.

2021: Slump and resurgence, First Wimbledon singles Final, First French Open doubles quarterfinal[edit]

Plíšková's first tournament of the year was at Abu Dhabi. She defeated lucky loser Despina Papamichail in the first round. In the second round, Plíšková was defeated by qualifier and world No. 292 Anastasia Gasanova in straight sets, despite this being Gasanova's first appearance in a WTA main draw. This was Plíšková's worst defeat by ranking since 2013.

At the Australian Open warmup tournament, Plíšková received a first-round bye and defeated Elisabetta Cocciaretto in straight sets. In the third round, she was defeated by Danielle Collins in straight sets, 7–6, 7–6. At the Australian Open, she defeated Jasmine Paolini in the first round, before avenging defeat against Collins in the second round, to the loss of just nine games across both matches. In the third round, she faced Karolína Muchová for the first time since her shock defeat at Wimbledon in 2019. Muchová won the first set 7–5, and then Plíšková raced to a 5–0 lead in the second set. Plíšková then lost seven games in a row, being defeated by Muchová in straight sets. This extended Plíšková's streak in losing at Grand Slam tournaments before the quarterfinals to seven consecutive Slams.

At Doha, Plíšková defeated Ons Jabeur in three sets in the second round, before losing to Jessica Pegula. At Dubai, she defeated Anastasija Sevastova, before losing again to Pegula. At Miami, where she was a defending finalist, she defeated Zheng Saisai, before losing for the third time to Pegula in the third round. As a result of her early loss, Plíšková's ranking fell to No. 9 in the world, her lowest ranking since August 2018.

At the Italian Open, Plíšková saved match points against Jeļena Ostapenko in the quarterfinals to ultimately reach her third straight Italian Open final. She lost in the final to reigning French Open champion Iga Świątek, 0–6, 0–6, in the most lopsided defeat in a tournament final of her career and the shortest completed final since Istanbul 2009. It was also the first double bagel to decide the Rome title, and the most one-sided Italian Open final since 1983.[27]

At the 2021 French Open Plíšková partnering with her twin sister Kristýna Plíšková reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam in doubles for the first time in their careers when playing together. She had less success in singles being upset by Sloane Stephens in the second round.

Her struggles continued in the grass season. She headed to Eastbourne as the defending champion but crashed out in the first round to Camila Giorgi in straight sets. As a result she left the top 10 for the first time since August 2016.

At the 2021 Wimbledon Championships Plíšková reached the quarterfinals and semifinals for the first time at this Major, defeating wildcard Ludmilla Samsonova and Viktorija Golubic respectively.[28] With her quarterfinal victory, Plíšková reached the semifinal stage or better of all 4 Grand Slams. She was only the sixth active female player to have reached all the Majors semis after Serena and Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep and Kim Clijsters.[29][30] She went on to reach her first Wimbledon final and second ever Grand Slam final since the 2016 US Open defeating Aryna Sabalenka.[31] She was defeated by Ashleigh Barty in the final 3-6, 7-6, 3-6.[32] She made it back into the top 10 by reaching the final.

Playing style[edit]

Plíšková utilizes an extremely aggressive style, highlighted by her powerful, accurate serve, forceful groundstrokes, and aggressive net play, to extract errors from opponents or win points outright.[33] Her greatest strength is her serve, which is known for its pace, power, and precision. She typically generates high first-serve percentages, and is able to serve numerous aces. Her first serve speed averages 109 mph (175 km/h), and peaks at 118 mph (190 km/h)[citation needed]; the fast speed of her first serve combined with its accurate placement and disguise make her first serve effective. Between 2013 and 2019, Plíšková ranked within the top 10 of the WTA ace count, and served the most aces of any player in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019; in 2016, she served 530 aces, the most of any player in a single year in WTA history.[34] She double faults infrequently, although she tends to take risks on her second serve when nervous, causing double faults to accumulate. Her groundstrokes are powerful, allowing her to hit winners from any position on the court. Her strongest groundstroke is her forehand, which she hits flat, with significant pace and power; this shot is responsible for most of the winners she hits on the court. She can generate extreme angles with both her forehand and her backhand, allowing her to hit winners at will. She also shows accuracy and power on mid-court shots, sometimes following them up to the net, where she can hit the most challenging volleys with ease due to her doubles experience.[35][36] Although she mainly plays from the baseline until she creates the opportunity to approach the net and hit low-risk volley winners, Plíšková will occasionally utilise the serve-and-volley tactic to surprise her opponents. This tactic is highly effective - in the 2016 US Open final, she won 80% of her serve-and-volley points.[35] Despite her considerable strengths, Plíšková's game is hampered by her poor movement, and lacklustre footwork. Although her movement has improved significantly since turning professional, it is still the weakest area of her game, allowing opponents to hit low-risk winners, due to the fact that she cannot reach the winning shot fast enough. Due to her poor movement, she struggles against defensive players who counterpunch, and aim to move her around the baseline - she possesses losing head-to-head records against many elite defensive players, including Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Elina Svitolina, Ashleigh Barty, and Sloane Stephens.[37] Plíšková's game is remarkably malleable, and is suited to all surfaces; she has won titles on hard, clay, and grass courts, although her quick and aggressive style of play is especially suited to grass courts.

Coaches[edit]

Plíšková has had several coaches throughout her career; Jiří Vaněk (2014–16), David Kotyza (2017), and Tomáš Krupa (2017–18). After parting with Krupa, she united with Rennae Stubbs for the 2018 US Open, although the partnership ended at the end of the year, so that Stubbs could return to her career as a TV tennis commentator.[38] She was coached by Conchita Martínez throughout the 2019 season; their partnership ended that year when Martínez began to coach Garbiñe Muguruza. In 2019, Plíšková announced that she would be coached by ATP coach Daniel Vallverdú for the 2020 season.[39] Due to a string of poor results, their partnership ended at the end of 2020. As of November 2020, Plíšková is coached by Sascha Bajin, the former hitting partner of Serena Williams, and the former coach of former world No. 1 and four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka.[40]

Endorsements[edit]

Plíšková has been endorsed by Fila for clothing and footwear since 2016; before then, she wore Mizuno clothing. Plíšková uses Babolat racquets, specifically endorsing the Pure Drive range of racquets.

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Slam singles performance timeline[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 SR W–L Win%
Australian Open A Q1 Q1 1R 2R 3R 3R QF QF SF 3R 3R 0 / 9 22–9 71%
French Open A Q2 1R 1R 2R 2R 1R SF 3R 3R 2R 2R 0 / 10 13–10 57%
Wimbledon Q1 A 1R 2R 2R 2R 2R 2R 4R 4R NH F 0 / 9 17–9 65%
US Open Q1 Q1 Q2 1R 3R 1R F QF QF 4R 2R 0 / 8 20–8 71%
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–2 1–4 5–4 4–4 9–4 14–4 13–4 13–4 4–3 9–3 0 / 36 72–36 67%

Grand Slam tournament finals[edit]

Singles: 2 (2 runner-ups)[edit]

Result Year Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 2016 US Open Hard Germany Angelique Kerber 3–6, 6–4, 4–6
Loss 2021 Wimbledon Grass Australia Ashleigh Barty 3–6, 7–6(7–4), 3–6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Členové týmu". Karolína Plíšková.
  2. ^ Staff, Reuters (29 November 2020). "Pliskova appoints Bajin as new coach for 2021 season" – via www.reuters.com.
  3. ^ also Daniel Vallverdú (2020), Conchita Martínez (2019), Rennae Stubbs (2018), Tomáš Krupa (2017–2018), David Kotyza (2017), Jiří Vaněk (2014–2016)
  4. ^ https://www.wtatennis.com/players/313974/karolina-pliskova
  5. ^ http://wtafiles.wtatennis.com/pdf/rankings/All_Career_Prize_Money.pdf
  6. ^ admin (28 August 2017). "Karolina Pliskova". WTA Tennis. WTA Tour, Inc. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  7. ^ Karolína Plíšková at the Billie Jean King Cup
  8. ^ Quayle, Emma (29 January 2010). "Another sister act". The Age. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  9. ^ Rossingh, Danielle (8 September 2016). "US Open: Serena Williams beaten by Karolina Pliskova, part of tennis' new sister act". CNN. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  10. ^ Gatto, Luigi (20 July 2018). "Karolina Pliskova got married to her boyfriend and agent Michal Hrdilicka!". Tennis World. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Stats Corner: Twins Make History In Linz". Women's Tennis Association. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  12. ^ "10 things about Pliskova and her breakthrough". tennisnow.com. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Can Kerber Overtake Serena At US Open?". Women's Tennis Association. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  14. ^ Schlecht, Neil (5 September 2016). "Pliskova ousts Venus in three-set thriller". USOpen.org. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  15. ^ "French comeback levels score on opening day". fedcup.com. ITF. 12 November 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  16. ^ Walsh, Leigh (13 November 2016). "Czechs maintain hold on Fed Cup trophy". fedcup.com. ITF. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova, Karolina Pliskova swap coaches". Tennis.com. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  18. ^ a b c d "2017 results". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Pliskova becomes new WTA World No.1". WTATennis.com. 17 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  20. ^ Macpherson, Alex (5 January 2018). "Svitolina takes revenge on Pliskova to book Brisbane final berth". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Pliskova strikes Strycova out of Melbourne". 22 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  22. ^ "Halep outplays Pliskova to make first Melbourne semifinal". 24 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  23. ^ "'I was almost in the locker room' - Pliskova shocks Serena for first Australian Open semifinal". WTA Tennis. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Sister act: 1st WTA meeting of identical twins ends in upset". USA Today. Associated Press. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Pliskova soars past Kerber to second Eastbourne title: 'I didn't do much wrong today'". Women's Tennis Association. 29 June 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  26. ^ Livaudais, Stephanie (8 July 2019). "'I never played such a long match': Marathon Muchova pitch perfect in Pliskova upset at Wimbledon". WTA Tennis. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  27. ^ "Swiatek whitewashes Pliskova to capture Rome title and break Top 10". Women's Tennis Association. 16 May 2021. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  28. ^ "Tomljanovic moves past Raducanu after retirement; Pliskova, Muchova win at Wimbledon". Women's Tennis Association. 5 July 2021. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  29. ^ "Sabalenka passes Jabeur test; Pliskova sails past Golubic into Wimbledon semis". Women's Tennis Association. 6 July 2021. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  30. ^ Kane, Dave (8 July 2021). "Karolina Pliskova shakes off slump to surge into first Wimbledon semifinal". Tennis.com. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  31. ^ "Pliskova grabs comeback win over Sabalenka to make first Wimbledon final". Women's Tennis Association. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  32. ^ Carayol, Tumaini (11 July 2021). "Ashleigh Barty battles past Karolina Pliskova to clinch first Wimbledon title". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  33. ^ Tignor, Steve (2 April 2017). "Learn From The Pros: Karolina Pliskova". Tennis.com. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  34. ^ Nguyen, Courtney (4 December 2017). "SAP Insights: Queens of Aces in 2017". Women's Tennis Association. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  35. ^ a b "US Open 2016: Aggressive style almost pays off for runner-up Karolina Pliskova". ExpressSports. The Express Group. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  36. ^ "Karolina Pliskova, Caroline Wozniacki advance to Miami semi-finals". Eurosport.com. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  37. ^ Cronin, Matt (15 February 2017). "Pliskova working to improve movement, the 'worst' part of her game". Tennis. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  38. ^ Oddo, Chris (14 August 2018). "Pliskova hires Rennae Stubbs as new coach". tennisnow. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  39. ^ Kane, David (25 November 2019). "Pliskova hires coach Daniel Vallverdu for upcoming 2020 season". Women's Tennis Association. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  40. ^ Fink, Nikolaus (7 December 2020). "Sascha Bajin: "The clear goal is to win a Grand Slam tournament"". Tennisnet. Retrieved 20 December 2020.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Angelique Kerber
World No. 1
17 July 2017 – 10 September 2017
Succeeded by
Garbiñe Muguruza
Preceded by
United States Serena Williams
US Open Series Champion
2015
Succeeded by
Poland Agnieszka Radwańska