It was wet, windy and, at times, the playing conditions were woeful at this year’s WTA Qatar Open. This did not stop the world number 3 Karolina Pliskova, from putting Caroline Wozniacki to the sword, and in doing so collecting her 7th WTA singles title and her second this year, adding to her victory in Brisbane in January.

Giving Pliskova a head start

Nerves and recollections of a poor start to the season seemed to be plaguing Wozniacki early on, as she dropped her serve in the first game and it just went from bad to worse, as Pliskova raced to a 4-0 lead.

Fans of the amenable Dane started to look glumly down the barrel of a drubbing. It’s as though Wozniacki was spurred on by the dejection of her worldwide followers, as she stoically won her first game and then broke the Pliskova serve to make it 2-4.

Caroline Wozniacki had evidently given herself a needed pep talk, particularly surrounding the fact that Pliskova is not in brilliant form, having relied on errors from Cibulkova in the semi-final to get here. Wozniacki generated the momentum of a runaway freight train. However, in this topsy-turvy game of extended cat and move, Karolina Pliskova seized control on her own serve to make it 5-3. Wozniacki began to struggle with her tactics, as Pliskova’s baseline returns were landing deeper - forcing Wozniacki to be more aggressive than was really good for her, as Pliskova closed out the set 6-3 in just under 40 minutes.

A tighter start to the second set

Wozniacki dug deep and had to rely on her age old ability to just keep the ball in play to ensure a more even start to the second set, as a love service game in the 4th, made it 2-2. Wozniacki was winning her service games more convincingly than the crushing Czech, but frustratingly could not make this count on the scoreboard.

The world number 18 pressurised the normally reliable Pliskova serve in the fifth game, forcing the Czech into uncustomary forehand errors to earn a break point, but Pliskova rallied to recover and hold serve.

The patient Pliskova rediscovered her range and broke the Wozniacki serve to go on to close out the match 6-3, 6-4. Sending out a message to the top players that even though Karolina Pliskova is not yet at the peak of her form, she is a dangerous force and will be all season.

Moving on

Whilst Wozniacki will feel frustrated that she did not take the chance to seize the momentum in the second set. This was a good week at the office for her and a 26th title will not be far away. Most importantly, her chances of winning the final major of the year – the US Open continues to increase. Although, there could be many good things coming her way before that, if she keeps on improving like she has in Doha.