Second seed Pliskova hoping to be fully fit before opening match

  • Tennis
  • Saturday, 26 Sep 2020

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - WTA Premier 5 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - September 21, 2020 Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova as she wears a protective face mask after she retired from the final with an injury against Romania's Simona Halep Clive Brunskill/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova hopes to be fully fit for her opening match at the French Open, having retired during the final of the Italian Open in Rome on Monday with injury.

World number four Pliskova attempted to continue playing against Simona Halep after receiving treatment on her lower back and leg between sets in Rome but eventually decided to retire while trailing 6-0 2-1.

"It's much better. I was playing today and yesterday. Slowly it's getting there," Pliskova said in her pre-tournament news conference on Saturday.

"I'm lucky I'm going to be playing probably Tuesday, so there's a couple more days to heal. Hopefully we are going to be almost 100%. Not there yet, but getting there."

Pliskova, 28, reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2017 and will begin this year's campaign against Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif.

Pundits and former players have said the colder conditions at this year's rescheduled claycourt Grand Slam, which was moved to end-September from its late May start due to the COVID-19 pandemic, might work against hard-hitters like Pliskova.

The Czech, considered one of the biggest servers in the women's game, does not see the unusual conditions impacting her chances.

"No, of course the conditions are not the best," Pliskova said. "It's pretty much the same for everybody. It's going to be a little bit heavier than we are used to, especially on clay.

"I mean, we know I can play on clay, but maybe little bit different weather than we having now. Anyway, I think the chances are still the same.

"We are still in the beginning of the tournament. I just hope to start well. I had some matches in Rome. I think I played some good tennis. Hopefully I can continue this."

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Clare Fallon)

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