Dubai: Former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova is giving herself an array of fresh options in an attempt to further her personal life while also pushing her towards higher professional goals.
Currently world No. 3, Pliskova has brought in the changes with the appointment of Olga Savchuk and former ATP coach Daniel Vallverdu in place of American Conchita Martinez. In 2018, she married her boyfriend Michal Hrdlicka, and now her one aim is to get better as a person and as a player.
“I always have targets, in life and in tennis. I think it’s not always about the targets. I think it’s also about the journey,” Pliskova said on Sunday.
“I have some goals to do well, do specific things on the practice courts and in the matches. It does not always have to be about the victories. I think I had enough victories in my career so far that I don’t have to really push to win this tournament or to win the next one. Of course, it’s always nice to win tournaments. I want to get better as a player and that’s my goal for this year. Let’s see if I can do that.”
Pliskova was ranked No. 1 in July 2017, after which she hit a struggle patch that saw her lose against lower-ranked players including twin sister Kristyna (at the 2019 Birmingham Classic). Her best in Dubai was a runners-up position in 2015 when she lost to another former No. 1 Simona Halep. It was at that time she contracted Savchuk as her coach, while taking Vallverdu on board as well — a move that she thinks can play a crucial role in the long run.
“I am very happy with Olga definitely. I know her very well, so it’s nothing new. And Dani [Vallverdu] is around when he can as I’m sharing him with [Stan] Wawrinka. It’s not always easy just to have him for myself,” she said.
“I think men’s tennis is so much better than women’s, whatever the men bring to women’s tennis I think it’s going to be helpful. Doesn’t matter what it is, if it’s the speed or if it’s the tactics or the power, the thinking, I think it’s still so much better. Whatever he [Vallverdu] can give me from the men’s tennis I think is only going to be good for me.”