Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) made her first grass court final count today (25 June), claiming the Aegon International title 7-5 6-3 over Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
Cibulkova made a slow start to the match, dropping her opening service game, but broke straight back and was rarely troubled thereafter, looking focused and motivated throughout her straight-sets win.
“This is a special title,” said No.12 seed Cibulkova, who overcame No.10 Pliskova in one hour and 41 minutes. “It's (my) second title of the year. I was never able to win two titles in one year. So it feels just great, my first title on the grass.
“I would say it's the toughest (tournament) before a Grand Slam, because everybody wants to play on grass and this is a big one, so the competition here was really strong. I was able to beat the top players on the grass, so it gives me a lot of confidence,” said Cibulkova of her victory.
“I never saw myself as such a grass court player, but after this (tournament) I can say, okay, I have beaten Radwanska, Bondarenko, Ostapenko. I really had tough draw. It was only good girls at this tournament, and I managed to win them all. So it gives me extra confidence, for sure.”
Pliskova paid tribute to Cibulkova’s steady performance in challenging conditions at Devonshire Park. “She was playing really well even in the wind,” said the world No.17, whose grass court form saw her win the Aegon Open title in Nottingham and the Aegon Classic doubles title in Birmingham partnering Barbora Strycova this month. “For me was more tough because of the serving, but she was playing aggressive and without almost mistakes. So she deserved to win.”
Pliskova said her Eastbourne performance was the perfect preparation for next week’s Grand Slam at SW19. “The results I think it can even help me to play better in Wimbledon. The matches, the closest ones that I won, gave me a lot of confidence, and I feel confident right now. I have a title, a title from doubles and another final. I’m just happy with the way I played this year the tournaments before Wimbledon.”
In the women’s doubles final Arina Rodionova (AUS) and Darija Jurak (CRO) came back from a set and a break down to clinch the Aegon International title, defeating Hao-Ching Chan (CHN) and Yung-Jan Chan (CHN) 5-7 7-6(4) 10-6.
“Very happy and overwhelmed with the situation because we beat one of the top seeds in the final and Sania (Mirza) and Martina (Hingis) – No.1 pair in the world – so we’re really happy, and it was well deserved for both of us,” said Jurak of the pair’s first WTA Tour title.
“It was a great performance by both of us from the first round we stuck as a team from the beginning and that’s what worked really well that’s what took us to the title,” said Rodionova. “I think it’s a great way to head into a Slam.”