We’ve barely blinked and the final of the Nature Valley International is set, with second seed Karolina Pliskova and fourth seed Angelique Kerber the last two women standing.
The 2017 Eastbourne champion Pliskova was ruthless in her Friday’s semifinal, not giving any room to third seed Kiki Bertens, who managed to win just three games in the 56-minute match. Even though it was Bertens who entered this encounter with a 3-2 head-to-head lead and a victory in their only previous meeting on grass, last year in the fourth round of Wimbledon, Pliskova today sprinted to to a 6-1 6-2 victory, winning 20 out of 22 points when her first serve was in.
In three out of four matches played this week at the Premier-level tournament, Pliskova lost just three or less games! Her worst result was a 6-3 6-3 second-round win over Margarita Gasparyan.
The Czech will play her third Eastbourne final against Germany’s Angelique Kerber, who will come to the title match well-rested, as her semifinal opponent Ons Jabeur handed her a walkover, being forced to withdraw due to a right ankle injury she sustained at the end of her yesterday’s quarterfinal.
The upcoming Nature Valley International final is really promising, as both Pliskova and Kerber are former world number ones who have displayed perfect tennis so far in Eastbourne. The reigning Wimbledon champion Kerber leads their head-to-head record 7-4 and has won their sole meeting on grass, the final of Birmingham 2015, a three-setter that included two tiebreaks.