Sunday, 2 July 2017

Pliskova and Djokovic take titles

After a high quality women's final at Eastbourne Karolina Pliskova has loomed as a favourite for the Wimbledon title.

Despite a fine match played by Caroline Wozniacki, she could not handle the brilliant serving exhibition by the Czech world number three, especially in the opening set.

Pliskova won all but a single point on her first serve, and seven of eleven on her second  serve.  On the only break point available to either player in the set, it was Pliskova who converted to take a 3-2 lead and maintain the break to a 6-4 lead.

 Set two saw Wozniacki have four chances to break the Pliskova serve in the sixth game but all came to nothing and it was later that the third seed took advantage and broke Wozniacki to lead 5-4 and be able to serve for the title.

This was done with purpose and Pliskova won her second title on grass, this the more prestigious, going one better than last year at Eastbourne where she lost to Dominika Cibulkova.
While she may have lost her fourth final out of four contested in 2017, Wozniacki is in top form and has every hope of reaching deep into the Wimbledon draw.

The men's final was also a good class match, but Gael Monfils just was a touch below what Novak Djokovic offered on the day.
The top seed came into the tournament looking to regain form with Wimbledon clearly in mind, and he hadn't lost a set all week.

Djokovic broke straight away and with a first serve percentage of 87% was in control throughout the opening set, although Monfils threatened at various stages.
Importantly Djokovic claimed another break in the ninth game which clinched him the set and allowed him first serve in set two.

Surprisingly it was Monfils who was more impressive in holding serve in the second set as both players avoided breaks for the first nine games.
Djokovic had survived three break points while Monfils had none to worry about.
However at 4-5 the pressure of staying in the match was too much as Djokovic delivered the killer blow.
Another title to the Serb to give him just the tonic going into a Grand Slam tournament in which he failed at round two last year, triggering an average (for him) run since.

Despite his 14th straight loss to Djokovic, Monfils played some great grass court tennis at Eastbourne and should be pleased in readiness for Wimbledon.

Meanwhile in Antalya Japanese player Yuichi Sugita won his first ATP title, defeating Adrian Mannarino.
The opening set was easy but it took a second set tie break to secure victory.

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