Karolina Pliskova is one of the players’ names being thrown about as a potential winner at the Australian Open which begins next week but I’ve watched a lot of Karolina over the last few years and I still feel she is lacking that ruthlessness in her game.
She can be tough to play against and her shots can be unforgiving but to be a major champion you can’t give too much away and in Brisbane just about a week ago against Elina Svitolina we saw that.
Pliskova was 4-0 up in the first set and became too comfortable and even when Svitolina got one break of serve back the Czech number one should have knuckled down but it was a naïve and intense-less performance from her.
It was difficult find a moment in the match when the momentum started to swift and she brought it on herself with this volley at the net.
Up until this point she played the point very well using the court to move the Ukrainian number one around but the volley was poor.
Image Credit – BT Sport
From this position Karolina should put the ball away and Svitolina should just be spectating, 4 seconds later she hits a forehand winner up the line for another break down a more ruthless volley would bring up game point for Karolina.
I remember a similar volley from Thiem in London back in November and it frustrated me and I remember saying it was a ‘show volley’ and not a ruthless one and it cost him big and it cost Karolina big whether you are 4-0 up, 3-1 or 4-2 it has to be with the same intensity as once you let that intensity drop from a winning position so early the likely hood is you won’t gain it back as you become frustrated with yourself.
I like Pliskova but I feel like that ruthless streak is missing at times. I often call her ‘cool and calm’ and that isn’t a bad thing but maybe seeing that grit and frustration might help her and put off opponents at times.