Last week, former world number one Karolina Pliskova won her 17th career singles title on the WTA tour. Pliskova rolled through the draw without losing a set in five matches. The title was Pliskova's first in four years. Pliskova has now extended her win streak to seven after winning back-to-back three-set matches in Doha.
The winning streak is even more impressive when considering the logistics she dealt with in the past few days. She won in Cluj, flew eight hours to Qatar, and won her first-round match in Doha within a 27-hour time span.
In the second round of Doha, Karolina Pliskova outlasted Anastasia Potapova 6-1, 5-7, 6-4. Pliskova found herself up a set and two breaks, but Potapova rallied back, breaking Pliskova at love when she served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. In the third set, Pliskova rallied from a break down, and a racket break, to overcome Potapova. Pliskova now faces fellow Czech Linda Noskova, who defeated a slumping Maria Sakkari.
Can Karolina Pliskova return to the top of the game?
Karolina Pliskova has had a quiet last few years on the tour and many may have written her off to finally win her first major. However, she has been regaining her form this season. Pliskova opened her season with two fantastic battles against Naomi Osaka and Jelena Ostapenko, narrowly losing to the latter.
It appears that Pliskova has found her footing with her serve again. Few players have been more dominant than Pliskova on their serve over the past decade. However, her serving prowess had waned in the last few seasons. In her opening match of Doha against Anna Kalinskaya, Pliskova served 19 aces. Pliskova finds herself in the top five on tour in aces this year.
Still only 31 years old, Pliskova should continue playing on tour for several more years. As she starts to build up her confidence again, there is no reason she cannot return to the top 10. I firmly believe she will find herself deep in a major once more and possibly winning her maiden grand slam title.