Karolina Pliskova, Lauren Davis start WTA seasons with titles

The first week on the WTA’s 2017 season is over with Karolina Pliskova and Lauren Davis among the early-season titlists. 

Karolina Pliskova may yet challenge for the World No. 1 ranking in the months ahead. She certainly looked sharped in the Brisbane final as she handed Alize Cornet a loss in the championship match on Saturday. The line score in the match was 6-0, 6-3, a thrashing for someone as talented as Cornet. The title, which is the 7th of Pliskova’s career, will see the Czech player regain a top-five ranking on Monday.

Pliskova will supplant Dominika Cibulkova as the World No. 5, the Slovakian herself losing in the Brisbane quarterfinals. Both players promise to be key in the upcoming Australian Open, one that will start in just over a week’s time. Cornet, for her part, will likely be ranked about 30th in the world as of Monday.

The last week of results featured two other champions, both of which were surprise ones. In Auckland, the draw had Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, and Barbora Strycova. However, the last woman standing was 23-year old Lauren Davis. The American will improve to a mid-40s ranking on Monday with aspirations that may see her improve drastically upon that in the 2017 season.

After all, Davis’ run of form in Auckland was not really that out of the blue. To conclude the 2016 season she played well in an ITF event after making the Luxembourg semifinals in a tour-level event. Furthermore, Davis made both the Washington and Quebec City finals in the latter half of 2016. Following all the late-round losses, the American will certainly be happy to claim what was just her first career title.

In Shenzhen, 20-year old Katerina Siniakova also claimed the first title of her career. She should move up to a ranking just a little better than 40th as of Monday. The draw in China featured both Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep as the top seeds, however neither made it to the semifinals. In regard to Halep, she suffered a loss to the eventual champion directly.

The tournaments upcoming will be in both Sydney and Hobart. Pliskova is currently in the Sydney draw although the title in Brisbane actually makes her a withdrawal risk. Hobart hardly has a big name in the event at all with Kiki Bertens the top seed. Cornet is in that draw if she doesn’t pull out and she’s actually got Krystyna Pliskova, Karolina’s twin sister, in the first round.

Shane Lambert