In January the now world number two Karolina Pliskova had both Rennae Stubbs and Conchita Martinez as part of her coaching team in Melbourne. In February the now Czech number one made the decision to hire former Wimbledon champion and Roland Garros runner up Conchita Martinez as her full time coach.
Conchita Martinez had a lot of success as a player and loved the clay. Over the last year or so we have seen some incredible results from Pliskova on the surface despite being a player we usually associate with her grass and hard court but her records on clay have been very good;
Roland Garros 2017 – SF
Madrid Open 2018 – SF
Stuttgart 2018 – W
Rome 2019 – W
Pliskova has gone from strength to strength on the clay and is learning to love it even more and with these results its hard not to.
Pliskova is on the right path and it does feel like a matter of time before this breakthrough at a major happens for her.
Martinez has spoken of late about that need to be patient and how players like Wozniacki and Halep defend so well and make you miss and getting to that stage of being a more patient player introducing more height and top-spin in rallies.
Of late the world number two has reached 500 career wins and is one of the former numbers ones without a Grand Slam title with her closest attempt being at the US Open in 2016 but she fell to Angie Kerber.
Do I think she is a contender? I really do
The key for her is finding that balance early on in matches, players will try and get you moving around on the clay and that is a part of her game which has improved a lot but there are better movers however her patience, ruthlessness and focus has come on as well and she has what it takes.