Tennis-Pliskova finally warms up to Wimbledon after run to final

·3-min read
Tennis: Wimbledon

By Sudipto Ganguly

(Reuters) - Despite possessing a game tailor-made for grass, Karolina Pliskova never found much success at Wimbledon and it was therefore not surprising that the Czech did not consider the All England Club as one of her favourite places.

But after a run to the final in this year's grasscourt Grand Slam, Pliskova's feelings about Wimbledon have changed.

The 29-year-old Czech, who is considered one of the biggest servers in the women's game, had never gone past the fourth round in previous editions of Wimbledon.

She took world number one Ash Barty to three sets in Saturday's final in front of a capacity crowd on Centre Court but once again finished as runner-up, like she did five years ago at the U.S. Open.

"It's actually mixed feelings," Pliskova told reporters after her 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3 defeat. "Of course my dream (is) always going to be now, forever, to win the Grand Slam. I'm trying to do that for like since I started actually to play tennis.

"It's not that I didn't like Wimbledon, but it was never my favourite place. I never played well here. I never felt so good here. But this time I think it changed a bit the feeling about this tournament, the feeling about the people. The atmosphere there was just incredible today.

"It's something we play for. We both tried to win so somebody has to lose. You have to accept that. I will definitely. I know how to lose, believe me. I'm so good in that," she said with a smile.

The former world number one said she now had more trust and confidence that she would have plenty of chances to get her name on the Grand Slam roll of honour.

She could not have hoped for a worse start in Saturday's final, however, as Barty won the first 14 points and raced to a 4-0 lead in no time.

Pliskova said the start reminded her of the 6-0 6-0 defeat to Iga Swiatek in the Rome final in May.

She was "proud" to find a way back into the contest and credited Barty for the way the Australian started off.

"Believe me, it was not a nice start," Pliskova said, adding that the Wimbledon final was the best moment of her career. "I didn't feel like I want to be there in the beginning of the match. But, yeah, that's why I'm even more proud.

"Also I was thinking about the final in Rome where I didn't make a game. I thought, 'No, this is not be possible, this cannot happen again'.

"I just found a way. I think that's the most important after match like this, that I always find a way no matter how you feel, no matter how the opponent is playing."

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Pritha Sarkar)