Pliskova Czechs in with seventh title

7 January 2017
By AAP

She’s got the coach.

And she has clearly got the game.

But world No.6 Karolina Pliskova has balked at speculation she is destined to win a maiden grand slam in 2017 after a dominant Brisbane International triumph.

Third seeded Czech Pliskova thrashed unseeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-0 6-3 in the women’s final on Pat Rafter Arena in just over an hour on Saturday night.

It was a dream start under new mentor David Kotyza, the man who guided Pliskova’s compatriot Petra Kvitova to two Wimbledon crowns.

Pliskova is in dominant form ahead of the Australian Open after peeling off 30 winners to Cornet’s 10.

The first set lasted just 18 minutes.

Even Cornet claimed winning a grand slam seemed inevitable for Pliskova.

But Pliskova tried to put a lid on the hype after claiming her sixth career title and a $262,396 winner’s cheque.

“I mean, everyone is saying that but it’s not that easy,” she said of the grand slam talk.

“Definitely I’m going to try but you still have to be ready for everything.

“There will be harder opponents than I had this week, then there’s the draw – it is important to have a little bit of luck.

“But anything is possible. So let’s see.”

Pliskova looked every bit a grand slam winner with Kotyza by her side.

And she believes she will only get better under her new coach.

“I said to him after this (perfect) start, now it can only get worse,” Pliskova joked about Kotyza.

“I think he definitely helps me with a few things. I think I can still play better than I was playing this tournament.”

Pliskova became the second Czech – and first since Kvitova in 2011 – to lift the Evonne Goolagong Cawley trophy as Brisbane women’s champion.

Pliskova said her thoughts were with Kvitova as the dual grand slam champ recovered from a recent knife attack, which saw Kvitova stabbed in her left hand, at her home.

“I haven’t spoken to her the last couple of weeks but hopefully she’s going to be back soon,” she said of her wounded compatriot.

The 24-year-old Pliskova has picked up where she left off in 2016.

Last year she had a breakout season, making her maiden grand slam final at the US Open and featuring in the Czech Republic’s third straight Fed Cup triumph.

She will now equal her career-high rank of world No.5 ahead of the Australian Open thanks to the Brisbane win.

The win levelled her head-to-head record against world No.41 Cornet at 1-1.

Cornet, 26, was the lowest ranked female finalist in Brisbane’s history.

The former world No.11 cruised into the tournament decider after French Open champion Garbine Muguruza pulled out of their semifinal with a thigh complaint.

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