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

Karolina Pliskova was one of the favourites to win the US Open title, but was beaten by Britain’s Johanna Konta in a compelling last-16 match.

In her final BBC Sport column from New York, the Czech third seed talks about her exit at Flushing Meadows, why it has not changed her belief she can win a Grand Slam – and her love for fishing.

Losing to Johanna Konta was disappointing but I would not say this was another golden opportunity missed to finally win my first Grand Slam.

I played an opponent who has been fourth in the world, so it was always going to be very hard, and then she played the best I’ve seen her play.

And even if I had won, I would have played Elina Svitolina, and possibly Serena Williams in the semi-finals, so there would not be an easy match between now and the final.

Maybe the first couple of matches were a little easier than they sometimes they can be, but this was not a dream draw for me. The standard is so high in the women’s game but I’m still sure I have the game to win a Grand Slam – that remains the goal.

Overall, I played solid in the tournament – it was not a disaster and it was nothing super. I could do much better.

Leading by a set and a break against Johanna meant it was, of course, a big chance but it is not like I missed match points – it was very close all the way through the match.

Immediately after losing a match like that, I don’t feel angry. You have a lot of emotion and stress during a tournament so once you lose it is like all those emotions are suddenly lifted.

Johanna Konta and Karolina Pliskova shake hands at the end of their US Open fourth-round match on Sunday

‘She said she had improved since Rome – she was 50 times better!’

It is tough to talk about positives because I don’t see any.

Maybe it was my best match of the tournament but sometimes it is not enough when somebody plays as well as Johanna did. I had beaten Johanna in six of our seven previous meetings at tour level, but she played more aggressive than our other matches.

She said before she thought she had improved since I beat her in the Italian Open final in Rome – and I think she was 50 times better!

What impressed me the most was the way she went for her shots a little bit more, because normally I think she waits more for mistakes from her opponent, or plays more crosscourt, but she went for every shot and a lot of times she hit the line. She was brave and it paid off.

She also served very well, especially in the third set when she was behind on serve and I was always one game up. She did a great job by serving under pressure and putting the pressure back on to me.

Overall I’d say it was her best match of the tournament so far, but it is tough to say how far she can go.

She has reached this part of a Grand Slam a few times now, and semi-finals, but I’m not sure if she can go on to win it because Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are still in the draw, while Elina is going to be tough in the next round.

‘A chance to catch up with family – but no time for fishing’

I will not watch the rest of the tournament because of the time difference – I am flying back to Prague straight away – and there is nobody who I would be interested in staying up to watch.

When I get to Prague I will take some time off because the month has been long and I haven’t had many days off. Then I will think about my plan, and then the Asia swing which starts later this month.

My twin sister Kristyna is already back in the Czech Republic so we will spend time with our family because we are away a lot, and maybe I will go home to Monte Carlo for a couple of days too.

I will also get to see our little sister – she is six and starts school this week. She is very excited about that. She is very clever, I think more than most six-year-olds, so she should do very well at school and enjoy it.

Obviously I wish I was still going to be here in New York all week, but at least it will be nice to see her going to school on her first week there.

Other than that, I will be sleeping, shopping and doing all the normal stuff – although I doubt I’ll have time for fishing, which is one of my favourite hobbies!

I like fresh water fishing a lot. The Czech Republic has no coast so I fish in rivers, ponds or lakes.

You need a licence to fish so I have one of those and I know more about the waters there, although I went deep-sea fishing in the Seychelles and Miami last year to try different things.

My father is a big fan of fishing – that’s where I get my love from – and he tries to teach me how to fish when we go. But I never catch any big fish!

If you want to catch smaller fish then it is easier because you could possibly catch one every 20 or 30 minutes, but if you want to go for bigger weights then you need to be sitting there for hours and hours – maybe all night.

It is a relaxing hobby. I don’t have my phone on when I’m fishing because you need to be focused and quiet, so it can be helpful for the mental part.

Once my tennis career is over I want to go fishing more, but for the moment I only have one or two days off every now and then so I don’t get the chance.

Karolina Pliskova was talking to BBC Sport’s Jonathan Jurejko at Flushing Meadows


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