World No.21 Dominika Cibulkova recorded a 7-5 6-3 victory over Karolina Pliskova in her grasscourt final debut at the Aegon International Eastbourne.
The first set was full of breaks, featuring as many as seven, and the first to grab her opponent's serve was the world No.17 Pliskova in the opening game of the match, but even though the Czech's break point conversion was perfect 100% (3/3), Cibulkova edged the first set, racing away with two straight games from 5-all.
In the second set, the 12th-seeded Cibulkova quickly established a 4-1 lead, as Pliskova failed to convert the break points she earned in the fifth game of the set. The tenth-seeded Pliskova never recovered and Cibulkova earned her second WTA title in 2016.
Cibulkova's triumph is even bigger when you realize that yesterday she won two matches in several hours: first she rallied to beat top seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the rain-delayed quarterfinals, then shortly afterwards returned to the courts to beat Monica Puig in the semis. The Slovak is projected to rise to No.19 in the WTA rankings.
Interesting fact: Did you know that Pliskova entered the Eastbourne final with a WTA-leading record of 310 aces this season. For comparison, second-ranked on the ace list is Serena Williams with much more modest 183. Moreover, this is Pliskova's third straight season with 300+ aces.
AEGON INTERNATIONAL EASTBOURNE 2016 IN PHOTOS:
- Day 5: Thursday's weather woes, only Monica Puig is a confirmed semifinalist
- Day 4: Quarterfinals are (almost) set
- Day 3: Completion of the second round, defeat of defending champion Belinda Bencic
- Day 2: Rain-shortened Monday included first-round victories of Eugenie Bouchard, Monica Puig & Andrea Petkovic