2017 Wimbledon player profile: Karolina Pliskova

The third-seeded Czech heads into Wimbledon as one of the favorites for the title, following an extremely strong season so far.

2017 Wimbledon player profile: Karolina Pliskova
Karolina Pliskova during her Aegon International final win yesterday (Getty/Charlie Crowhurst)

One of the key women to watch over the coming fortnight at Wimbledon is third seed Karolina Pliskova, who is one of the favorites for the title following an incredible year so far.

After previously struggling to perform well at Grand Slam tournaments, Pliskova looks sets to smash her previous Wimbledon best of reaching the second round, which she has done four times, after recent results which include the US Open final last year and the French Open semifinal last year.

Pliskova will start her SW19 campaign against Evgeniya Rodina and is a section of the draw which features the likes of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Caroline Wozniacki.

2017 results before the grass court season

Pliskova started her season at the Brisbane International, where she beat the likes of Elina Svitolina and Alize Cornet to win her first title of the season. The Czech then went to play at the Australian, making her first quarterfinal at the tournament, though suffered a surprise loss at that stage to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Karolina Pliskova poses with the Brisbane International title after beating Alize Cornet in the final (Getty/Bradley Kanaris)
Karolina Pliskova poses with the Brisbane International title after beating Alize Cornet in the final (Getty/Bradley Kanaris)

Following that disappointing loss, Pliskova rebounded by winning two Fed Cup singles ties against Spain, before beating the likes of Dominika Cibulkova and Caroline Wozniacki to take the title in Doha. Though she lost to Kristina Mladenovic in her first match in Dubai, she then reached the semifinals in both Indian Wells and Miami, losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova and Wozniacki respectively.

The Czech struggled early on in the clay season, losing early in Stuttgart, Prague, and Rome, but then surprised everyone by reaching the French Open semifinal, beating home favorite Caroline Garcia in the last eight before falling to Simona Halep in a tight three-set encounter.

Grass court season

Pliskova undoubtedly had a strong grass court build-up to Wimbledon, winning her only warm up tournament; the Aegon International in Eastbourne.

Karolina Pliskova after winning the Aegon International title in Eastbourne yesterday (Getty/Mike Hewitt)
Karolina Pliskova after winning the Aegon International title in Eastbourne yesterday (Getty/Mike Hewitt)

The Czech had previously withdrawn from the Aegon Classic in Birmingham due to injury, though started well in Eastbourne, easing past the potentially dangerous Alison Riske in straight sets. She then recorded another straight sets victory over Shuai Peng to reach the last eight, where she battled past seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in a thrilling contest. Following that, Pliskova made her second consecutive Eastbourne final as Johanna Konta withdrew from their semifinal clash, and beat sixth seed Caroline Wozniacki for a second time in a final this year to win her second grass court title, following her win in Nottingham last year.

Best Wimbledon result

Despite having reached four finals on grass in her career and seemingly having a game tailor-made for the surface, Pliskova has always struggled at Wimbledon, losing in the second round the past four years.

In 2013, she beat 13th seed Nadia Petrova in straight sets in the opening round, before falling to fellow unseeded player Petra Martic. The following year, she battled past Karin Knapp in the opening round, before losing to 19th seed and former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki in the second round.

Karolina Pliskova in action during her first round win over Yanina Wickmayer last year (Getty/Julian Finney)
Karolina Pliskova in action during her first round win over Yanina Wickmayer last year (Getty/Julian Finney)

She was seeded at the tournament for the first time in 2015, though, after battling past Irina Falconi in her opening round, the 11th seed fell to Coco Vandeweghe. Last year, the 15th- seeded Czech battled past Yanina Wickmayer in the opening round, before falling to Misaki Doi in straight sets.

Despite some disappointing form at the tournament in the past, Pliskova undoubtedly knows how to play on grass and is a huge threat for the title this year. In a year of general inconsistency on the WTA, Pliskova has arguably been the most consistent player, and it should be no surprise if she took her first Grand Slam title here.


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