The WTA Tour has acquired a new world No. 1, and despite all the critics and the debates around the outcome, Karolina Pliskova has maintained the consistency that rewarded her in the first place. Twelve months ago, she made an outstanding run at Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati that was the launching pad for another glorious campaign at the US Open.

Reaching the final act in New York made her ranking status soar into the top 10. Since then, she has been a constant player in the higher stages of almost any significant WTA tournament. She has won three WTA titles in 2017 and has a 39-11 win/loss ratio. As the defending champion, Cincinnati will be a tough test especially after last week's result with Svitolina and Wozniacki surging from behind.

Pliskova No. 1 in women's singles contest

As the top seed, she is set to begin defending her status by facing Donna Vekic or Natalia Vikhlyantseva. If she reaches the sixteenth round, Pliskova may be on a collision course with Daria Gavrilova who went on to a stunning upset over Kristina Mladenovic in round 64. The quarterfinals may bring Caroline Wozniacki on the other side of the net. The 27-year-old Dane is on an upswing after reaching the finals at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

When it comes to the semifinals, the odds may put Garbine Muguruza (2017 Wimbledon Championship winner), Madison Keys, or Svetlana Kuznetsova on the other side of the tennis court. The main draw is a tough one by default, but the stakes are high as well.

Several players may end up with the current week and tournament number 1 ticket in their back pocket.

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Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina, and Wozniacki are fighting for the top spot, while Kerber, Muguruza, and even Johanna Konta could influence the structure of the next week's ranking.

Pliskova needs to go one step further at 2017 US Open

Back in 2016, the US Open had quite a final in women's singles with Kerber and Pliskova delivering a highly-competitive game of tennis. The 25-year-old Czech player seemed to have the upper hand in the third act as she put her nose in front with an early break.

Somehow, the German bounced back to seal her second Grand Slam of the season. Instead of crushing her spirit under the weight of the failure, Pliskova became a solid competitor in the meantime. She seems to have all the weapons needed to aim big at this US Open. If she wins the 2017 US Open Tennis Championships, she will put an end to all those critics.