Eastbourne 2018: Caroline Wozniacki beats Aryna Sabalenka in final

  • Posted: Jun 30, 2018
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra commentary; Text commentary online.

World number two Caroline Wozniacki beat Aryna Sabalenka to claim her second Eastbourne title.

The Danish top seed outlasted her Belarusian opponent, ranked 45th in the world, 7-5 7-6 (7-5) at the Nature Valley International.

Sabalenka served for both sets and led 4-1 in the tie-break, but Wozniacki, 27, dominated the crucial moments.

It is her second title of the year, after her Australian Open success, and comes just two days before Wimbledon.

Wozniacki has never progressed past the fourth round at SW19.

She beat 2016 Wimbledon finalist Angelique Kerber and Nottingham Open champion Ashleigh Barty en route to the final in Eastbourne.

“It’s a long time ago that I was a winner of this tournament so it’s amazing I can still play 10 years later,” she said.

  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • Do you like your towel scrunched or folded? Behind the scenes at Wimbledon
  • Wimbledon on the BBC- TV, radio & online coverage

Sabalenka’s powerful hitting put Wozniacki under pressure from the beginning, with the Dane saving four break points in an eight-minute opening game.

The two traded breaks but Sabalenka, 20, used her forehand to fine effect, finding the break before consolidating it with a winner into the corner.

Sabalenka served for the set at 5-4 but double-faulted, and Wozniacki reeled off three games to take the first set in 58 minutes.

In an engrossing second set, Sabalenka broke through with a stunning forehand down the line but, once again, the Belarusian faded as she tried to serve out the set.

It looked like a straightforward task for Wozniacki to close out the match, but Sabalenka’s offensive hitting forced a tie-break.

The first four points of the tie-break went Sabalenka’s way but Wozniacki, one of the best defensive players on the tour, countered to take the title in just under two hours.

Sabalenka, who was ranked 135th in the world last year, was making her first appearance at Eastbourne.

She begins her Wimbledon campaign against Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu, while second seed Wozniacki will face American Varvara Lepchenko.


Former British number one Sam Smith on BBC Two

How can you not be impressed with Sabalenka? I have a feeling she hit 40-plus winners against the best defender of the tour.

Wozniacki just goes on. She doesn’t give it away. In those critical situations, she makes her first serve, and that makes life difficult for the returner.

This is why she’s winning Slams now – as soon as she has the opportunity to attack, she does.

Source link