Karolina Pliskova
Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic talks to the media on Sunday in Dubai. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova is trying to shrug off a bout of viral attack to be at her best going into this week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship.

Pliskova, one of the several players affected by viral illness last week, has been in Dubai for the past two days trying to get herself into prime position and do one better than her runners-up position here in 2015.

“It’s going to be tough week for sure, because so many good, top players are playing here. There are not really any easy rounds. From the first round, it can be very tough and it’s going to be important to start well,” the Czech said at the customary media session.

Karolina Pliskova speaks to the media. Alaric Gomes/Gulf News

Currently ranked No. 5 in the world, Pliskova wants to build on her recent success that saw her reach the semi-final of the 2019 Australian Open before losing in three sets to eventual champion Naomi Osaka. “Of course, I feel confident, especially about beating good players. I know I just have these matches. Especially in the beginning of the year, I think it’s always important to have these matches. It doesn’t matter if you lose maybe in a few tournaments, but you still have these matches under your belt,” Pliskova observed.

“My game is going to come one day again. Right now I feel good. I felt good about my tennis, fitness already in Australia. I feel like it can only get better from here on,” she added.

The Czech has won 12 singles and five doubles titles on the WTA Tour, as well as 10 singles and six doubles titles on the ITF circuit. She reached her first Grand Slam final at the 2016 US Open, where she was runner-up to Angelique Kerber in three sets.

“With time, you take things more positively than after. When you lose, it’s always tough to see the positive things. But I think I played some good matches. Obviously to win title, go in Grand Slam semi-final is always super positive and good. I beat some good players. I just appreciate more the way I played because I think the level was good,” she added.