Karolina Pliskova to debut at world number one next week

Following the losses of Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep at Wimbledon, the Czech will become the 23rd women to reach the top spot since the WTA began its system.

Karolina Pliskova to debut at world number one next week
Karolina Pliskova will become the 23rd number one in WTA history (Getty/Mike Hewitt)

Karolina Pliskova will rise to the world number one spot for the first time in her career on Monday, following the losses of Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep at Wimbledon over the past two days.

Despite her own early exit at the third Grand Slam of the year to Magdalena Rybarikova last week, Angelique Kerber’s loss to Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round yesterday and Simona Halep’s loss to Johanna Konta today means that the Czech will become the 23rd number one in WTA history on Monday with 6,855 points.

Karolina Pliskova after winning her ninth career title at the Aegon International (Getty/Charlie Crowhurst)
Karolina Pliskova after winning her ninth career title at the Aegon International (Getty/Charlie Crowhurst)

Kerber, who has held the top spot for a total of 34 weeks over three different spells, will fall to third after failing to defend her SW19 finalist points, whilst Halep will stay at second after matching her quarterfinal result from last year; a win today would have seen the Romanian take top spot.

Consistent 12 months sees Pliskova take the top spot

Pliskova is the sixth woman to reach the number one ranking without winning a Grand Slam title, and will undoubtedly attract criticism because of that, though has undoubtedly been the consistent player over the past 12 months.

The Czech’s run to the number one spot started last summer, where she won the biggest title of her career in Cincinnati, before reaching her first Grand Slam final at the US Open. Pliskova made her WTA Finals debut last year, and the 25-year-old has won titles in Brisbane, Qatar, and in Eastbourne this year, as well as reaching the last eight at the Australian Open and the last four at the French Open. Further results, such as back-to-back semifinals in Indian Wells and Miami, have also been a factor for Pliskova.

Karolina Pliskova after winning her first title of 2017 at the Brisbane International (Getty/Bradley Kanaris)
Karolina Pliskova after winning her first title of 2017 at the Brisbane International (Getty/Bradley Kanaris)

Following the best 12 months of her career, Pliskova has been able to leapfrog both Halep and Kerber, who has struggled as the world number one, in the rankings. The current world number three will be looking to strengthen her position over the summer, especially with Halep having to defend the Rogers Cup title and Kerber having to defend the US Open title.

The Czech will also be looking to emulate Amelie Mauresmo and Kim Clijsters, both of whom won their first Major titles after having reached the top spot. The only three women so far to reach number one and not win a slam are Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic, and Dinara Safina.