World number four Karolina Pliskova revealed following her third round loss at the China Open today that she will be working with Rennae Stubbs at the WTA Finals, which take place in just over two weeks time.
The Czech, who fell on Thursday to Sorana Cirstea, was the world number one in between Wimbledon and the US Open, though lost that ranking following a quarterfinal defeat in New York and then promptly split with coach David Kotyza after failing to win a title since Eastbourne. However, she revealed following her loss today that she will be working with the Australian in the week ahead and during the year-end showpiece in Singapore.
Stubbs, a former world number one in doubles and the holder of six Grand Slam titles (four in doubles, two in mixed doubles) has not yet worked as a coach, instead working on both American and Australian TV following her retirement in 2010. The Australian is yet to comment on the partnership, whilst there is also not yet any news about whether the two are pairing up in Singapore just for that tournament or are looking to form a long-term partnership.
Pliskova looks to make change following dip in form
The Czech was arguably the most consistent player throughout the first half of the season, culminating in her taking the world number one ranking following Wimbledon (despite a second round loss), though Pliskova has now turned to Stubbs following a run of inconsistent form that saw her part company with Kotyza.
Kotyza, who had previously worked with Petra Kvitova (guiding her to two Wimbledon titles) and Caroline Wozniacki, partnered with Pliskova ahead of this season and under his coaching, Pliskova reached the last eight at the Australian Open, and the last four at the French Open as well as winning titles in Brisbane, Doha, and Eastbourne. However, the two split following a slight dip in form, and the world number four results have not improved since splitting from her fellow Czech.
Aside from the fact that she revealed that she will be working with Stubbs in Singapore, not much else is known about the partnership at the moment. Pliskova will not be in action until the WTA Finals, where she will be joined Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina, Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, and Jelena Ostapenko, all of whom have also secured qualification. Johanna Konta will also qualify this week if Caroline Garcia fails to reach the title in Beijing.