|US Open 2019|
|Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep|
|Coverage: Live text and radio commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app|
Third seed Karolina Pliskova is among the favourites to win the women’s singles at the US Open and started her bid for a first Grand Slam victory with a straight-set win over fellow Czech Tereza Martincova.
In her latest BBC Sport column, she explains why it wasn’t a perfect win, how she deals with pre-match nerves, why she watches opponents on YouTube and how husband Michal did not like watching Pretty Woman on Broadway.
I am aware I am the only active player who has been the world number one and not won a Grand Slam title – but it is not something I’m always thinking about.
When I was little I dreamed of being the number one player in the world and that was what I said I wanted to be when people asked me.
I was so pleased to achieve that in 2017 and it means my main focus now is winning a Grand Slam title. I want it so much.
People see I can win a Grand Slam with my game, I know it myself and I’m working hard to achieve that.
To be the world number one you need to consistently play at a high level all year so it is a different achievement to winning just one tournament.
You might have players who are lower down the rankings and are able to win a Grand Slam but they will not get close to being number one.
I am hoping I can finally achieve both of those great things by winning the US Open this year!
My first-round match was not perfect, but I’m through so that’s the most important thing.
My serve is my biggest weapon and against Tereza it was not great at all. I lost six of my service games – that is too many.
There is a bigger chance at a Slam you’re not going to play your best Tennis one day, so somehow you have to find a way through.
That’s what I did and I hope there are not any more days like this.
‘I watched YouTube videos so I knew what to expect’
Although I have played many matches and many finals, I always feel a little nervous on the day of a match.
I’m not shaking or anything like that but it can be tough to eat something in the morning, so instead of having breakfast I might just have snacks, like a banana, so I’m not hungry.
Also, I always try to imagine how the match will work out so I’m nervous because I’m thinking about things a little bit too much.
But once I’m on court that feeling disappears.
It helped that I was first on court for my first-round match on Monday morning so I didn’t have to wait around too long before going out to play.
It is a Grand Slam and you want to play well so there are always nerves and I think I was more nervous because I was against another Czech player.
Obviously I had heard of her – the Czech Republic is not that big so everybody pretty much knows everybody!
My sister talks to her a little bit and practises with her sometimes, but I haven’t really spoken with her or hit with her.
That meant I watched YouTube videos of her so I knew what to expect.
We have a lot of statistics which I use to analyse myself and my opponents but I also like to watch a player myself so I get a feeling of how they play.
I don’t watch every opponent because I’ve played pretty much everybody inside the top 100 and some girls I’ve played 10 times so I don’t watch them anymore.
But I had never played her before so I wanted to see her play.
She played great, she was confident and played freely, and I had to fight to win.
‘My husband didn’t like Pretty Woman’
I told you in my last column I went to the cinema three times in a week when I was in Cincinnati and Toronto, but here in New York I have been going to see shows on Broadway – as well as going out for nice dinners and doing some shopping.
My husband Michal is a sports presenter on Czech television but he is also my manager. That means we work together a lot.
He is here with me in New York and we went together to watch Pretty Woman on Broadway – but he was not a big fan of the show so I went with my sister instead to watch Frozen. That was amazing!
Michal and I try to have date nights away from the team sometimes, and I particularly like sushi, Thai and Italian restaurants.
I have been coming here to New York for about 10 years now so I have my favourite places which I always visit.
Karolina Pliskova was speaking to BBC Sport’s Jonathan Jurejko at Flushing Meadows.