Karolina Pliskova Wins WTA Doha 2017 Title

Pliskova might not be that far removed from the World No. 1 ranking.

Karolina Pliskova claimed what is the second title of her 2017 season on Saturday, defeating Caroline Wozniacki in the final from Doha. The line score in the match was 6-3, 6-4 in the Czech’s favor, a result that ends what was a miserable weak in Qatar for tennis fans. The championship final played as scheduled, but every other round of play saw postponements and delays. At the end of it, Pliskova has the first win of her career over the Dane.

For Wozniacki, the week of play certainly is not unproductive. She defeated Agnieszka Radwanska and Monica Puig en route to a runner-up finish. By all measures, Wozniacki played much better than she did during the South Pacific swing and she has to feel better about her game despite losing in the final. The Dane now has a record of 10-4 on the season, she projects to a World No. 15 ranking on Monday, and her year-to-date ranking puts her in the top ten. Β She remains an interesting player to watch with possibilities for a top-five finish this season very real.

However, the woman-of-the-moment is Karolina Pliskova, a player who has just one loss on the season. She won Brisbane, she made the Aussie quarters, she won two Fed Cup matches, and now she has a second title in Doha. She is the second-best player on year-to-date ranking points and she will remain No. 3 in the overall rankings when they update on Monday. However, it appears to be just a matter of time and of staying fit before the Czech takes over the No. 1 ranking.

The two players ranked above Pliskova are Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams. The former’s form has been so atrocious so far this season that none that have witnessed her play would see anything but the World No. 25, not someone who was on top of the rankings mere weeks ago. Williams’ title in Melbourne speaks for itself, but she hasn’t always taken the smaller events seriously. That being the case there’s no telling how the American will play when Indian Wells and Miami roll around.

Pliskova made the semifinals at Indian Wells 2016 and the round of 64 in Miami. There is plenty of room for her to gain ranking points in the USA in March while Serena has a lot to lose. Don’t turn your back on Pliskova for a minute as she could very well be the No. 1 with the April 3rd rankings.

Shane Lambert