Tennis can often be massively rewarding for the talented few out there but sometimes the champions do not get a chance to celebrate their success and Karolina Pliskova knows that feeling all too well.
The Czech world No3 on Saturday wrapped up a tremendous title triumph at the Qatar Total Open in Doha but was already in Dubai barely 20 hours later talking to reporters about her next tournament.
The 24-year-old endured a brutal week in the Qatari capital that was swept by thunderstorms throughout the entire tournament and forced players to contest more than one match in one day.
It was all even more gruelling for Pliskova considering she had arrived late in Doha after helping her Czech team beat Spain in Fed Cup the previous weekend in Ostrava.
“It was very difficult especially with the Fed Cup weekend I had. I wasn’t sure about my tennis (at the beginning of the week in Doha) because I didn’t practice much and we played Fed Cup indoors and this was outside, so everything was a bit different,” the Dubai No2 seed said on Sunday.
“The conditions there were really tough the whole week so I didn’t practice much before the matches. I’m just happy. I played four matches in three days so it was a special week definitely and I think in the end I was even playing good tennis in the finals.”
The 2015 Dubai runner-up immediately switched her focus to the action at the Aviation Club this week, where the faster courts suit her game even better than Doha.
“I just got here (to Dubai). Last night I was trying to enjoy the title I won and today I’m starting a new tournament so this is the last time I’m talking about my trophy. I just want to prepare again for this tournament, it’s going to be different, new balls, new players here, big draw, so one just has to be ready,” she said.
Pliskova has elevated her game dramatically within the past six months – a period in which she won the Cincinnati title, reached the US Open final and made her WTA Finals debut in Singapore.
She is the only player to have captured two titles so far this season, having also scooped the trophy in Brisbane to start the year, and has a target on her back as the in-form player of the moment.
“I’m beating players which I haven’t beaten in the past, especially this week I beat two of them (Caroline Wozniacki in the Doha final, and Dominika Cibulkova in the semis). There are only one or two players left which I haven’t beaten yet.
“I think anything is possible and with my game I have big opportunities to beat those players, I just have to play well, stay aggressive, serve well and then I have the chance to beat anyone.”
Asked to name the players she hasn’t beaten yet, Pliskova said: “Obviously Agnieszka Radwanska, she will be the next one I want to beat. I played Maria Sharapova once, that was just one meeting, and I think against Ekaterina Makarova I don’t have a good record.”
Pliskova could meet Radwanska in the semi-finals in Dubai should they make it through their first three matches.
The Polish No4 seed won Dubai in 2012 and is hoping for a repeat success this week.
“I hope I can show good tennis here and get some good results. I think the most important thing is I’m healthy and I just feel I can play my best here,” said Radwanska.
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