The 2019 Nature Valley International in Eastbourne concluded on Saturday. The singles final between Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber promised a super climax and while there was some high-quality tennis on show, it was a one-sided finale. The focus quickly switches to Wimbledon and i’m so excited for the action to start on Monday! Previews, polls and draw predictions will go up in the usual place on the blog before Monday so stay tuned. Read on for a final wrap-up from Eastbourne…
Match reviews 🎾
Karolina Pliskova d. Angelique Kerber, 6-1 6-4 (Final)
Karolina Pliskova won her second Eastbourne title, producing a devastating performance to beat Angelique Kerber in just 71 minutes. It’s been a perfect week for Pliskova who dropped just 19 (!) games in five matches. I thought Kerber played a decent match and she ended it with a positive winners to unforced differential. Kerber got the most games of any Pliskova’s opponents in the second set and fought valiantly on her serve to stay in contention. Kerber had a 15-30 opening at 3-4* but was unable to break back in the second set.
I think this is one of the best performances that i’ve seen from Pliskova. I’ve felt that over the past few years she has trended towards being more passive. While I thought she defended and moved exceptionally well in the final, it was all about being positive and she was aggressive, yet contained. Pliskova returned superbly and put subtle pressure on Kerber. There were a couple of return winners but it was more about the depth and force of her returns.
I saw Pliskova on the practice courts with her coach, Conchita Martinez in Eastbourne at the start of the week and I remember thinking how calm and relaxed she looked. It was the most fun practice I watched in the Bourne and she was smiling and laughing. Whether she can translate this into Wimbledon remains a mystery. I’m kind of sold on this performance but we’ve been here before, exactly two years ago! In my opinion, the potential third rounder against Hsieh-Ostapenko is the make-or-break for Pliskova. Make the second week and I think she’s looking good…
Stat watch 🔢
Very impressive ⬇.
Handshakes and hugs 🤗
Angie was very gracious in defeat. She gave Karolina a look at the net as if to say, damn that was good!
Favourite snap 📸
Classic shot by Jimmie48 of Pliskova with her trophy on the court. That’s a wrap from Eastbourne!
MTB on social media 🎾
If you missed any of my live posts from Birmingham or Eastbourne, they can all be found on the blog at the following locations ⬇.