Karolina Pliskova is now 27 years old. That US Open final from 2016 does seem a bit of a lifetime ago and to be honest so does her good run at the beginning of last season.
The Czech number one began her year with the title in Brisbane and went home in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. I said last year the season went down hill from there. The consistency wasn’t the same throughout the rest of the season. There were good results but little momentum built up.
I like Pliskova and we have seen a lot of change of late in her coaching team. Conchita Martinez and Rennae Stubbs have moved. Dani Vallverdu has stepped into the coaching scene with it being the first women he has coached. Dani however is splitting his time and is still working with Stan Wawrinka.
I saw all of Pliskova’s matches in Shenzhen and part of the problem was there is a fine line between her being ruthless and being messy. Against Svitolina I said I felt like she was waiting for something to happen rather than going for it herself but Elina didn’t let go.
I liked what I saw in Brisbane this week, she always does well here. I imagine Dani has been brought in for a new idea and I hope it comes around a way getting quicker points into play especially off the forehand.
We have seen players he has worked with before improve their shot quality and reduce rally length on specific shots to make them a little bit more aggressive.
I thought overall a very good run from Karolina, there were moments in a couple of matches where she did slip away but the way she re-grouped in the third set was admirable and took control.
I hope Pliskova does really well in Melbourne this year, it would be nice to see but it will be super tough as she found out last summer!