Karolina Pliskova is one of three female players to have held the number-one ranking and never won a singles major. The other two, Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina, retired before capturing a singles slam. Pliskova still has the chance to shed the underserved scarlet letter that accompanies world number one players who have not won a major.
Pliskova claimed the number-one ranking in July 2017. The year prior, she narrowly lost to Angelique Kerber in the US Open finals. From 2016 to 2021, Pliskova was one of the most consistent players on tour, finishing in the top 10 each year. In that time period, she scooped up 12 titles, including 2 WTA 1000 events, reached a Wimbledon final, and led the Czech Republic to two more Fed Cup titles. She also led the tour in aces for 4 out of those 6 years.
Beginning last year, Pliskova’s consistency and form dropped. Her serve became less dominant as she began throwing in more double faults and seemed to lose some of her pace. Her thumping groundstrokes have been misfiring and she appears unsure of herself. Recently, she lost in back-to-back first rounds at the French Open and Wimbledon and she split from coach Sascha Bajin.
Karolina Pliskova is number one of the best players never to win a Grand Slam
Pliskova is simply too good to not make a few more deep runs in majors. Her serve has been one of the biggest weapons on tour in the past ten years or so. She knows how to volley, is an underrated defensive player, and pummels her forehand. Once she gets her serve back to its old form, she will return back to the top 10.
While her results this year have been disappointing, she did make it to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. She just needs to start stringing together some good matches and regrouping after the coaching change. As the tour heads to the hard courts for the rest of the season, expect Pliskova’s game to pick up.
Likelihood to win a major: Likely
Full Top Ten Countdown:
Number 10 – Paula Badosa
Number 9 – Maria Sakkari
Number 8 – Coco Gauff
Number 7 – Belinda Bencic
Number 6 – Madison Keys
Number 5 – Caroline Garcia
Number 4 – Elina Svitolina
Number 3 – Vera Zvonareva
Number 2 – Ons Jabeur
Number 1 – Karolina Pliskova