Karolina Pliskova Is The New World No. 1

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As Simona Halep failed to make the semifinals with her losing to Johanna Konta, and Angelique Kerber failed to reach the final by losing to Garbine Muguruza in the Round of 16, Karolina Pliskova will become the new World No. 1 when the rankings update on Monday.

Pliskova will be the 23rd No. 1 in WTA and youngest at the age of 25 since Victoria Azarenka became No. 1 in 2012. She will be the first Czech No. 1 (Navratilova became No. 1 while representing the United States) in history. WTA will return to having a Slamless No. 1 for the first time since January 2012 and for the 6th in history.

Pliskova went out in Round of 64 to Magdalena Rybarikova, so this Race to No. 1 at Wimbledon will be rather anticlimactic. The Czech is Slamless, so how did she get enough points for No. 1? Here is the breakdown:

Karolina’s biggest results came in the US Open series last year, beating Serena Williams to reach the US Open final, and winning the title in Cincinnati. This year, Pliskova’s results weren’t as big as last year, but more plentiful. The Czech reached semis at Roland Garros and won titles Eastbourne, Brisbane, and Doha.

Pliskova is currently a Slamless No. 1, but I do not think she will remain so for long. Unlike other notorious Slamless No. 1s, such as Caroline Wozniacki or Jelena Jankovic, Pliskova has a very different game. The Czech is the one that controls her destiny in matches. Her strong serve and hard-hitting ground strokes ensure that. Pliskova has so far reached only one Slam final, but I believe that many more are on the way, and so are Slam titles. Many (including myself) predicted the new No. 1 to go all the way at Wimbledon. However, she was drawn against the unstoppable comeback story that is Magda Rybarikova.

The Czech is also currently No. 15 in doubles. She played a full schedule in singles and doubles throughout 2016. That might have been what prevented the Czech from stepping it up at the Slams. In 2017, Pliskova has only played three tournaments in doubles and seems to be finally fully focused.

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