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By Chris Oddo | Tuesday August 14, 2018

New husband, new coach.

Things have changed quite a bit recently for World No.8 Karolina Pliskova, who was married after Wimbledon and recently parted ways with coach Tomas Krupa and has begun a trial run with former WTA star Rennae Stubbs.

Pliskova has worked with Jiri Vanek, David Kotyza and Krupa in the last two years. She also worked with Stubbs at last year’s WTA Finals.

She felt it was time for a change.

“I think I just felt like I need to do some change, not because—I don't want to make changes when I just feel bad,” Pliskova said. “I just felt I need somebody a little bit more positive.

“I really liked Rennae when we were working in Singapore last year, so it was just about a few weeks' work, but it was so positive and she's just positive, doesn't matter how I play, how I feel. I just said, like, for a couple of weeks she's going to try to help me out."

Pliskova is aware that Stubbs, who commentates for ESPN, isn't always going to be available. But she's happy to have her when she is, likely for the rest of the season.

"She has her stuff, a lot to work around, not only me," Pliskova said. "I think this could work at least for a few weeks. Yeah, for next year we'll see, but we have just a few tournaments to go this year, so I think I'm going to just stay with her.”

So far so good for Pliskova, who was able to notch her first career victory over Agnieszka Radwanska in eight tries on Tuesday at Cincinnati, 6-3, 6-3.

“It means a lot because it was against her and I never beat her,” she said of the win. “We played so many times. I think I always played her at her best level the matches before, so it was always tough. But I had some chances to at least do a set in the previous matches when we played, so I was just happy after my first set that I finally at least have a set.”

Tennis Express

The 26-year-old advances to face Aryna Sabalenka in the second round. Pliskova improves to 10-2 lifetime at Cincinnati, where she won the title in 2016.

Mertens, Barty Roll On

No.15-seeded Elise Mertens, playing at a career-high ranking of 15, made quick work of Magdelana Rybarikova, while Australia’s Ash Barty knocked off Czech wild card Marketa Vondrousova.

More History for Anisimova

It was also a big day for 16-year-old American Amanda Anisimova, who not only received a U.S. Open wild card, she also became the youngest WTA player to win a main draw match in Western and Southern Open history by defeating Timea Babos, 6-3, 6-4. Anisimova, who reached the fourth round at Indian Wells this year, became the youngest WTA player to reach the round of 16 since 2005. Earlier this summer, she won a round at San Jose before falling to eventual champion Mihaela Buzarnescu in three sets.

San Jose runner-up Maria Sakkari continued her fine play by defeating Japan’s Naomi Osaka, 6-3, 7-6(8).

Lucky loser Camila Giorgi set a second-round clash with Madison Keys by defeating Anastasija Sevastova, 6-2, 6-3, while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova took out Aleksandra Krunic, 6-1, 6-0.

Kaia Kanepi (d. Lepchenko), Ekaterina Makarova (d. Bogdan) and Tatjana Maria (d. Kiick) were also winners.


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