All the finals were completed today with most of the results being what people expected at the beginning of the day. My feature final heading in to the was the women’s Eastbourne final between Caroline Wozniacki and Karolina Pliskova.
Yuichi Sugita became the third Japanese player to win an ATP title in Antalya as he got his first ever title with a 6-1, 7-6(7-4) win over Adrian Mannarino. Sugita had a lot of trouble when he tried to close out the second set due to nerves and his game went out the window but it was a very solid first set from the 28 year-old. Mannarino did not play well at all throughout the match but especially not in the first set as he was only able to win seven points on serve throughout the whole opener. The first set was a breeze for Sugita as he was solid on serve and he won the set with a double break. It looked like Sugita would easily march his way through match as he went up a double break in the second set but that’s when his game started to fall apart. He started hitting a lot of errors and that let Mannarino back into the match to force a tiebreaker. In the breaker Sugita managed to hold his nerve and hit enough good shots to claim the match and the championships. This is such a good win for the journeyman player and with this new confidence he could make a deep run at Wimbledon assuming he’s not to exhausted from this week.
My feature match saw Karolina Pliskova win her third title of the season in Eastbourne as she defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4 in a very entertaining match. I was very surprised that Wozniacki didn’t end up taking a set because she played such a great match for the majority of it but Pliskova was playing well in the important moments. The first set was the more tightly contested of the two because they were both playing at their best for the whole set. Wozniacki wasn’t able to do anything while facing Pliskova’s serve as the Czech was firing down aces one after the other. Pliskova got the break midway through the set and from there, Wozniacki wasn’t able to come back as Wozniacki lost her seventh straight set in a final. Wozniacki was probably the stronger player throughout the second set as she had a number of opportunities to break but Pliskova managed to scrape through. Wozniacki played her one bad game of the match at 4-4 in the set and Pliskova broke then proceeded to serve out the tournament. This would have been very upsetting for Wozniacki as it is the fourth final she has lost this year but she looked positive after the match so that is a good sign.
Novak Djokovic then came out and won his first title since the first week of the year in Eastbourne as he moved past Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-4 in a clinical display. Djokovic didn’t drop a set on his way to the title and he wasn’t playing his best against Monfils but he still managed to wrap it up well. Djokovic was very strong on serve for the first set as he didn’t face a break point and carried an early break all the way through the set. I was very impressed with Djokovic’s drop-shotting this match because it is very hard to drop shot Monfils and he did it a lot this match. Monfils was a lot better in the second set but Djokovic was still the better player and eventually he got the break at the end of the set to take the match. Djokovic achieved exactly what he came to Eastbourne to achieve, which was get a few good straight set wins and also claim the title. I don’t think Djokovic’s game got a lot better than it was but I think that with confidence the game will eventually come.