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Eastbourne champion Pliskova turns attention to Wimbledon glory - 'It's going to be a new beginning'

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 30 Jun 2019
  • Pliskova put together a dominant week to take home the Eastbourne title on Saturday
  • The Czech beat reigning Wimbledon champion Kerber in straight sets in the final
  • Pliskova will be trying to make it past the R16 for the first time at Wimbledon over the next two weeks
Karolina Pliskova (PA Images)

For the third time this year, Karolina Pliskova has won a title in the weeks leading up to a slam - but can she translate that pre-tournament momentum into a maiden major trophy over the next fortnight at Wimbledon?

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Pliskova capped a dominant week at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne on Saturday, easing past reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber 6-1 6-4 in the final to capture her third WTA title of the season.

Karolina Pliskova (PA Images)
The Czech was dominant from the first ball to the last throughout the week in Eastbourne, dropping just 19 games in her five one-sided victories over Margarita Gasparyan, Elise Mertens, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Kiki Bertens and Kerber.

Pliskova’s booming serve worked a treat against Kerber as she fired down seven aces and made 76 per cent of her first serves, while she was also dominant on return, winning more than half of the points behind Kerber’s delivery. The 27-year-old also blasted 33 winners to just 16 unforced errors in the crisp display.

"Especially on the grass, this serve is working. My game I think from the baseline...normally you're never gonna ace 20 times with Angie, but you need to just step after the serve and just to be aggressive," Pliskova said.
"I lost my serve in the first set, but I felt, you know, I could still make this game because I was up in the game. But I think I was serving well, just clever using the slice wide which was working on her. That's what I did. That's why I think I was holding my serve quite easily.
"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. 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."

Pliskova also won the Brisbane International ahead of the Australian Open, where she made the semi-finals before losing to Naomi Osaka, and the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome before going down in a disappointing third round loss to Petra Martic.

Karolina Pliskova (PA Images)
Coached by 1994 Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez, Pliskova has only been past the second round once in seven previous appearances at The Championships and she’s yet to make the quarter-finals.

However, if her performances in Eastbourne are anything to go by, Pliskova deserves to be mentioned in the shortlist of favourites for the title.

Pliskova thinks the key to Wimbledon success is to immediately put her sensational Eastbourne week behind her and focus on what she has to do over the next fortnight to win a first Grand Slam title.

"Of course, it's going to be new start, new beginning. Nobody's gonna really think about this [at Wimbledon]. Maybe me," Pliskova smiled.
"I just want to totally forget about what was here. Just take maybe only the positives but not to be thinking that everything is going to go that easy as this week, because I never had a week like this, that I didn't lose that many games. I felt like everything went quite smooth.
"Maybe the second set today was the toughest, but I felt everything just went the way it should, which for sure is not going to be like this in Wimbledon."


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Eastbourne champion Pliskova turns attention to Wimbledon glory - "It's going to be a new beginning"

For the third time this year, Karolina Pliskova has won a title in the weeks leading up to a slam - but can she translate that pre-tournament momentum into a maiden major trophy over the next fortnight at Wimbledon?

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