By Ros Satar at the Nature Valley International, Eastbourne

  • Karolina Pliskova [2] def. Angelique Kerber [4/WC] 6-1 6-4
EASTBOURNE, UK – Karolina Pliskova set down a marker for Wimbledon with a commanding win over defending Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber.

 

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Karolina Pliskova [2] def. Angelique Kerber [4/WC] 6-1 6-4

Karolina Pliskova lifted her third title of the year in Eastbourne, after sending down a series of bombs to remind defending Wimbledon champion and now three-time runner-up Angelique Kerber that the next two weeks will not be a walkover.

Pliskova, who tends to slip under the radar during most tournaments, breezed through everything Eastbourne could throw at her without dropping a set and swiftly had Kerber on the ropes in the first set, breaking at the first opportunity and only having the merest of a wobble when Kerber woke up and break back to at least get a game on the board in the set.

The second set started with an immediate break for the Czech and she never looked in danger of being put under pressure by the German, who only had two chances in the match to disrupt Pliskova’s rhythm.

Kerber called it a ‘perfect’ match and there was not much Pliskova could do to disagree with that assessment.

She said, after her victory: “I felt like I was having a lot of chances in the second set, but, you know, it’s always with her you can have some chances but she can fight back because she’s trying to do everything possible.

“And on the grass, her shots sometimes just stay too low. So maybe I miss a little bit more during the second set, but I think I didn’t do much wrong today.”

However, it is a quick turnaround to a tournament that she has not always been able to replicate her pre-tournament grass court success on.

Pliskova continued: “Tomorrow just hit an hour, maybe hour and a half. Luckily I didn’t have the matches here that tough — well, still, you play five matches plus some practices but no three-setters and not really long matches, which can help.

“But of course it’s a quick turnaround that I have to play back on Monday. But on the other hand, maybe I can continue and not to have the bigger break. It can be good. Let’s see.”

 

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Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber after the final of the Nature Valley International, Eastbourne 2019

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic & Angelique Kerber of Germany pose with their trophies after the final of the 2019 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Kerber has made the most of a deep run here to take advantage of the practice courts to herself, but on the Sunday before Wimbledon starts, it will be a very different story.

She explained: “We will go as soon as possible now to London, and I will try to practicing there few times before my match, trying to enjoying the next few days.

“But as well finding my routine again and getting ready for the first match, you know, this is the goal. I mean, I will try of course on one side enjoying it, but on the other side I will still try to playing my best tennis, starting from the first round and trying to continue how I played last year.”

She continued: “I know the feeling. I know how it is to being the first days on a Grand Slam, especially in Wimbledon. And it’s Sunday. I will just practice once, so I think I will just be going for one-hour hit and that’s it and then leaving the site as soon as possible.

“I’m just looking forward to being there again, to having the feeling, the energy which is there. It’s always different to all the other tournaments. We are staying in a house, not staying in a hotel. So, it’s always a different feeling.”

Wimbledon takes place between 1-14 July.

 

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