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By Chris Oddo | Thursday December 1, 2016

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova have swapped coaches ahead of the 2017 season.

Photo Source: Wuhan Tennis

Petra Kvitova has announced that Jiri Vanek, the longtime coach of Karolina Pliskova, will be her coach in 2017. Pliskova, meanwhile, has hired David Kotyza, the man who guided Kvitova through her formative years and to her two Wimbledon titles in 2011 and 2014.

Vanek, who began working with Pliskova in 2014, guided the Czech to her first Grand Slam final at this year’s U.S. Open. Pliskova also made her maiden appearance at the WTA Finals in October.

Our Take:

This is great news for both players, but particularly Kvitova. One of the most talented, explosive players in women’s tennis, Kvitova has struggled at times to find motivation and has lacked direction in her game since she parted ways with Kotyza at the beginning of this season.

It may have been great for Kvitova to spend a year experimenting. No doubt she is a unique talent and personality that is in need of a low-key person in her camp, and the time she spent coachless and during her brief tenure with Frantisek Cermak surely enabled her to get a better idea of what she really needs to take her back to elite status.

Vanek has been a positive influence with Pliskova, who is also slightly withdrawn and can be somewhat moody and maybe even difficult to motivate. There’s certainly no guarantee that this will work for the new pairing, but we’ve liked Vanek’s work and we know there’s more great tennis left in Petra Kvitova—let’s see what these two can do.

Pliskova should benefit from Kotyza’s experience as well. Like Vanek he’s a low-key personality that comes off as a kind soul. He’s had the experience of taking Kvitova to the top of tennis, and in Pliskova, he may just have tennis’s next Wimbledon champion to work with.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with both these pairings, and we’ll be anxious to watch and see what both Czechs can do during the Australian summer.


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