Eastbourne 2017: Karolina Pliskova beats Caroline Wozniacki to win title

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Karolina Pliskova beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-4 to win the Aegon International at Eastbourne and boost her Wimbledon title hopes.

World number three Pliskova, who had a bye into the final after Britain’s Johanna Konta pulled out with injury, has now won three titles this year.

Sixth seed Wozniacki fought hard in the second set but 25-year-old Pliskova’s serve was too strong throughout.

“Hopefully I can go far at Wimbledon,” the Czech told BBC Sport.

“I think my service is definitely my biggest weapon and if it’s working it causes the other player a lot of problems.”

Pliskova to emulate Novotna’s title double?

Pliskova will go into Wimbledon as one of the favourites for the title, having reached her first Grand Slam final at the US Open last year and the French Open semi-finals at Roland Garros last month.

The last Czech player to win the Eastbourne title was Jana Novotna in 1998, and she went on to triumph at Wimbledon two weeks later.

However, Pliskova has never made it past the second round in five appearances at Wimbledon.

She dropped only five points on serve to take the first set in Eastbourne in 34 minutes.

The third seed saved six break points in the second set before wrapping up victory in one hour and 22 minutes, having fired down 10 aces.

Wozniacki, who beat Heather Watson in the semi-finals, struggled to cope with Pliskova’s powerful serve.

“I thought I played really well,” said the Dane. “But Karolina played better than me, definitely with the serves. I had trouble getting them back.”

Analysis – Pliskova favourite for Wimbledon

Former British number one Sam Smith on BBC One

There was a little wobble in the second set but Pliskova came through it well and will now be installed as the favourite for Wimbledon.

She is becoming a serial winner, she’s tougher mentally and physically now, and has a great game for grass.

Konta hopes to practise on Sunday

British number one Konta suffered a thoracic spine injury in a heavy fall in Thursday’s quarter-finals, but hopes to play at Wimbledon.

A statement from Konta’s representative said: “We are seeking medical advice and monitoring the situation closely.

“Johanna is hoping to return to practice on Sunday and will assess the situation further at that point.”

Konta, who is due to begin her campaign at the All England Club on Monday against Hsieh Su-wei, is seeded sixth, the highest for a British woman at Wimbledon since Virginia Wade.

Source: www.bbc.com

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