Pliskova felt nerves in first match as No. 1, was relieved to win

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The Czech has a ton of points to defend in the U.S. hard-court season. (AP)

Karolina Pliskova acknowledged having a few nerves as she stepped on court as the No. 1 player for the first time, but still came away with a victory in her opening match in Toronto. 

"I had a little bit before my match because I really wanted to win this one, and then also I knew I have the good record against her. So I just knew if I play solid and OK, I can win it," Pliskova said following her 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

But she wants to play better in her second match as No. 1.

“I just didn't play a match since Wimbledon,” she said. “After a while back on hard court, I was not really expecting good tennis, and it was not good tennis."

The Czech fell in the second round of Wimbledon, but got to the top spot anyway when Simona Halep was beaten in the quarterfinals. But her rise really began a year ago, when she won the WTA Premier 5 in Cincinnati and then reached the final of the U.S. Open.

Now, she knows she'll have to keep playing at that level to keep the ranking.

“So far I have pretty good season this year," she said. "So really solid, few titles. And [next] few tournaments on hard court, defending a lot of points, which will be tough in this U.S. year.

"So I still want to play my best tennis, and we will see how I will fight against the defending points."

But knowing she's done it before gives the new No. 1 more confidence.

"It's going to be tough to play the same as I was playing, but I believe I'm on a good way," she said. "I definitely feel like I have more experience now."


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