Getting To Know... Kristyna Pliskova
Published October 11, 2012 08:25
LINZ, Austria - The list of names to have won the Wimbledon girls' title reads like a who's who of modern tennis, with Martina Hingis, Amélie Mauresmo, Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska just a few of the players crowned champion at the All-England Club in the past two decades.
Looking to follow in their footsteps is 2010 winner Kristyna Pliskova. After several years spent steadily climbing the senior ladder, the 20-year-old is now on the verge of the Top 100 thanks to a string of impressive results over the summer, including an upset win over Julia Goerges on her US Open debut.
This week, Pliskova is in Linz playing doubles with twin sister Karolina, where she took some time out of her busy schedule to catch up with wtatennis.com.
How did you get into tennis?
KP: My parents put me and my sister into tennis lessons in our home city of Louny when we were about four. We wanted to play basketball at first, but because we were so small back then they wouldn't let up play and so we chose tennis instead!
When did you start taking tennis more seriously?
KP: I think from the beginning; our father is quite strict and he wanted us to be the best from a young age. We actually moved to Germany when we were 10 for two years because there was a good Czech coach there, so, as you can see, it was pretty serious from the first years.
Tell us about your current coaching setup?
KP: I am playing at the I. Czech Lawn Tennis Club in Prague. I think it's the best in the city. I actually broke up with my coach a few months ago and have just started with Bohdan Ulihrach, who used to be a player on the ATP.
What is it like rising up the tennis ladder alongside your sister?
KP: It's good, it's absolutely good. From the first day we were born, we have always been together. It's amazing that we are still together. It's great to have her here because it means we can practice together, play doubles together. It's perfect!
Do you ever get on each other's nerves?
KP: Not usually. But in the summer, we were in the US together for about two months and towards the end it got pretty hard! That's why it's nice to go home sometimes so I can see someone else for a bit!
How are you and your sister finding life on the senior tour?
KP: We actually only played one year properly in juniors and since we were 15 we have been trying to play first ITF tournaments and now WTA. I think it's good to play a bit in juniors but not too much because it's totally different from seniors. We are still trying to break into Top 100 and hopefully that will happen soon.
What are the strengths in your game?
KP: My serve, for sure. I like to hit that hard and I also have a big forehand. There are so many things I need to improve, but my main focus now is the movement. Also, as I hit it pretty hard, I am also working to try and not do as many mistakes.
Did you have a tennis idol growing up?
KP: When I was growing up my idol was Goran Ivanisevic. He used to be a big hero for me, but now there isn't anyone I would call an idol.
Who is the toughest opponent you've faced?
KP: Marion Bartoli, for sure. Especially on grass.
What is the best memory of your career?
KP: I think it was winning the junior title at Wimbledon. It was a great experience to be on Court 1 and win in front of a big crowd. It was an amazing day. Hopefully there will be even better days to come, though!
Away from the court, what do you like to do to relax?
KP: When I'm at home, I'm going fishing with my father. I also like to watch movies and also go shopping with my sister.
Do you have any favorite movies or books.
KP: At the moment, I'm not reading so much. Movies? There are so many, maybe I would choose Gladiator.
How about your favorite tournament?
KP: Wimbledon. I have so many good memories and it has such great history. I also think that the grass is good for my style.
How far did you go in your education?
KP: Because of tennis, I had so little time to study, so I haven't finished high school yet. I'm studying by correspondence and hopefully I can finish it this year.
If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
KP: You should ask my sister!
If you could meet anyone in the world who would you like it to be?
KP: On court or off court? On court, it would be Petra Kvitova. Off court, ummm, I'm not sure.
If you weren't a tennis player, what career would interest you?
KP: Definitely something in sport. I am pretty tall and I love basketball so perhaps if tennis hadn't worked out I could have played that.