Anna Karolina Schmiedlova to play clay ITFs

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, who was one of the nominees for most improved player last year, finds herself in a bit of a slump this season. The Slovak will be playing some ITF tournaments before starting her grass season.

Poor start to the season

Schmiedlova finished last season on a high, winning two titles in Katowice and Bucharest including getting wins off top players, becoming one of the fastest rising stars. That led her to end the season ranked at an impressive 26. As expected, she was also nominated for the Most Improved Player for the WTA awards for her good season. Even though she lost out to Timea Bacsinszky, the Slovak only had positives to take into the following year to make more inroads.

However, that did not go according to plan. By the time, the first Slam of the year had passed, she had just one match win under her belt. As we approached the end of another Slam, the Slovak had just added one more to the tally, that too coming in the Fed Cup, totaling up to a miserable two wins out of 16 matches played. A dismal start to the season for someone who had a lot going for her.

Decision to play clay ITFs

Last year, she was doing well at the clay events and it looked like it might be the turning point for her this time round. Alas, she was subjected to first round exits and had yet to get a win on clay. Her most recent loss was a little more consoling as she took the first set in her first round match at the French Open against fourth seed Garbiñe Muguruza. She eventually lost but her spirited attempt was encouraging.

Schmiedlova's recent match was a little more positive | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Schmiedlova's recent match was a little more positive | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

That could have prompted the Slovak to sign up more clay events but this time at the lower tier of ITF. The decision perhaps made in the interest to gain some match wins to get the momentum and confidence going, something which the Slovak would need most right now. So while the rest start the grass season, Schmiedlova will be playing clay events before kickstarting her grass season in Eastbourne.