Doha, Qatar: Karolina Pliskova withdrew from the Qatar Total Open on Wednesday citing tiredness and her no show has put the focus on scheduling and players’ responsibility towards the fans and the game.
Former World No.1 Pliskova had just lost a gruelling match to Simona Halep as Czech Republic lost to Romania in the Fed Cup in Ostrava during the weekend and the second seed, who arrived in Doha on Monday, said she was too tired to play.
“From the first day when I arrived, already the day after Fed Cup, I felt after I played my match with Simona, which was super long and tough, I just felt somehow exhausting,” said Pliskova.
“I have never felt actually this way. It's normal that you are tired, of course, when you are travelling and playing a lot of matches. But I just feel somehow my body is not ready,” said the 2017 champion in Doha, who was scheduled to meet Elise Mertens on Wednesday.
“I had a temperature few days. I don't have any neck pain or something, but I just feel overall like super tired, and my muscles are just hurting from the morning without even doing anything. So I'm just not able to compete 100 per cent today.”
Pliskova became the fourth player to withdraw from the Premier WTA event in the last couple of days — after Caroline Wozniacki, Ashleigh Barty and Caroline Garcia — while new world No.1 Noami Osaka had pulled out even before the start of the tournament.
Asked whether players should be more responsible towards the game and fans, Pliskova said that the players were here in Doha before they withdrew shows that they all wanted to compete.
“I think they tried till the last moment, so I don't see any reason why somebody should be playing tournaments by being sick or by being injured.
“It's a risk in the future tournaments or in the future career. I don't know which risk you want to put on us, but I think everybody pays fine if they withdraw. Maybe not once per year, but every time, if we do it more, then yes, so I think that's enough,” said Pliskova who stressed the point that she would not be able to give her 100 per cent had she decided to play.
“I’m not the type of player which goes on court and retire after two games. So I said maybe it's better that somebody else plays,” said Pliskova.
The 26-year-old said she wished there was more time between Fed Cup and the Qatar Total Open but it was always the player’s choice which one to play. That she was the champion in 2017 made her take the decision to come to Doha.
“I was defending champion here last year, so I decided, like, this year I'm going to try again, because I like this tournament. Every time I try to come. But it's a question mark for the next years.”