Tagged in: Karolina Pliskova

World No.2 Pliskova hires Daniel Vallverdu as coach

Former World No.1 Karolina Pliskova announced her new coaching team ahead of the 2020 campaing, which will be headed by longtime ATP coach Daniel Vallverdu replacing the 2016 US Open finalist’s former coach, Conchita Martinez, and flanked by recently retired WTA star Olga Savchuk.

Pliskova began 2019 with Martinez, a 1994 Wimbledon champion, and former WTA Doubles No.1 Rennae Stubbs, and reached the Australian Open semifinals with a victory over 23-time major winner Serena Williams en route.

The self-styled “Ace Queen” split with Stubbs following the Middle East Swing and finished out the year with Martinez, with whom she qualified for and reached the semifinals of the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen.

Pliskova and Martinez announced their split shortly after her three-set loss to eventual champion and 2019 WTA Year-End World No.1 Ashleigh Barty.

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Vallverdu is noted for his work with the likes of two-time Olympic Gold medalist and former World No.1 Andy Murray, 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych, 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, 2017 ATP World Tour Finals winner Grigor Dimitrov, and three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. 

“Karolina is a great player and I’m looking forward to working with her to help her reach her goals,” Vallverdu said in a quote posted on Pliskova’s official website. “WTA is something new for me, but I like challenges.”

Savchuk previously worked with Pliskova in between the US Open and Asian Swing, working with the Czech star the week she captured the inaugural Zhengzhou Open. 

“They’ve known each other for a long time from the WTA Tour and they have a great relationship,” notes Michal Hrdlicka, Pliskova’s husband and manager.

Pliskova will work with both Vallverdu and Savchuk as the off-season unfolds, and will travel together with the team to Australia to start the 2020 campaing at the Brisbane International, where she is the defending champion.

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World No.2 Pliskova splits with coach Conchita Martinez

World No.2 Karolina Pliskova has confirmed she has split from her coach Conchita Martinez.

Former Wimbledon champion Martinez, who was second in the world herself during her playing career, began working with Pliskova on a full-time basis 10 months ago.

The Czech acquired four WTA titles in 2019 – the joint-most on the tour – but failed to make it beyond the fourth round of a grand slam after reaching the Australian Open semi-finals in January.

Last week, Pliskova was defeated in the last four of the season-ending WTA Finals by Ashleigh Barty.

“I decided I will no longer work with Conchita,” Pliskova wrote on her social media accounts.

“It was tough decision, as the season was great. Thank you for all this year, and wish you only the best. Life is a change!” Martinez, who coached Garbine Muguruza when she won Wimbledon in 2017, also posted a message on social media.

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“Just a little note to inform you that Karolina and I have decided to take different paths next year,” she said.

“It has been an incredible year full of great moments and emotions. I wish Kaja and her team the best for the future.”

Pliskova lifted trophies in Brisbane, Eastbourne and Zhengzhou this year, as well as at the Italian Open.

She was runner-up at the 2016 US Open and held the World No. 1 ranking in 2017 before Martinez joined her team.

Martinez  worked with Garbine Muguruza, another former World No. 1, and helped her fellow Spaniard to the Wimbledon title in 2017.

However, after finishing their partnership following the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen 2019, the 27-year-old has not yet announced the name of her new coach. Earlier, before hiring Martinez as a full-time coach in February, Pliskova was mentored by Rennae Stubs for one year. 

Martinez and Stubbs had been sharing coaching duties in Pliskova’s team after the Czech parted ways with Tomas Krupa in 2018.

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