Djokovic, Pliskova serve notice with easy title wins

Above: Karolina Pliskova en route to a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Caroline Wozniacki yesterday. Novak Djokovic with the Eastbourne trophy after beating Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-4.
Above: Karolina Pliskova en route to a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Caroline Wozniacki yesterday. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Above: Karolina Pliskova en route to a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Caroline Wozniacki yesterday. Novak Djokovic with the Eastbourne trophy after beating Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-4.
Novak Djokovic with the Eastbourne trophy after beating Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-4. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Novak Djokovic clinched his first title since January following a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Gael Monfils in yesterday's Eastbourne final, while Karolina Pliskova lifted the women's trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki.

Djokovic, playing the week before Wimbledon for the first time since 2010, captured his 68th career title - but just the second this year - after downing Monfils for the 14th time in as many meetings.

"It's been a great decision to come here," the Serbian tennis star, whose form has dramatically tailed off since completing the career Grand Slam at last year's French Open, told Eurosport. "Coming to Eastbourne I obviously haven't had as much success as in previous seasons during the first six months."

The world No. 4 will face Slovakia's Martin Klizan in the first round at Wimbledon, where he is a three-time former champion.

Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti said Djokovic has reinforced his coaching team for Wimbledon by adding former world No. 7 Mario Ancic alongside American great Andre Agassi.

Earlier, third seed Pliskova beat Danish sixth seed Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4 to underline her status as a Wimbledon title contender.

The Czech secured her third title of the season after breaking Wozniacki once in each set, leaving the Dane in search of a trophy since her Hong Kong win last October.

Pliskova needed 90 minutes to win the trophy and become the first top-10 player to win the event since former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli in 2011.

The world No. 3 will go into Wimbledon as one of the favourites for the title, having also reached the French Open semi-finals at Roland Garros last month.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 02, 2017, with the headline 'Djokovic, Pliskova serve notice with easy title wins'. Print Edition | Subscribe