Novak Djokovic Defeats Gael Monfils to Clinch Eastbourne Tennis Title

Novak Djokovic said rediscovering the winning feeling on Saturday when he scored his first tournament success since January had provided the flawless preparation for the Wimbledon Championships.

"So I try not to do that any more". I think it's different here in a way because I spent a lot of time every day interacting with people on the grounds.

The Serb was the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time, but he returns to Wimbledon at a crossroads after the worst period of his career.

"Hopefully, I'll be able to take the performance here and a good level of confidence into Wimbledon", Djokovic said.

Monfils has now failed to defeat Djokovic, who has added Mario Ancic to his coaching team for Wimbledon, in 14 attempts and never really looked like denying him a 68th ATP singles title at Devonshire Park. "I was very fortunate and privileged to have so much success in the last eight, nine years, and kind of entered most of the tournaments as one of the biggest favourites".

Czech player Karolina Pliskova will hope to follow in the footsteps of Jana Novotna after winning the Aegon International Eastbourne. On and off the court I was greeted, I was respected.

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The 2014 and 2015 champion lost in the third round past year to Sam Querrey, a defeat that led the former world No 1 to question how happy he was with his life away from the court.

The Czech world number three defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-4 to go one better than previous year, when she was beaten in the final by Dominika Cibulkova.

Earlier, third seed Pliskova beat Danish sixth seed Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4.

"I had trouble getting the serves back", she said, "but its great preparation before Wimbledon".

"I could not be happier to reach the final", said the 30-year-old Serb.

Djokovic set about putting Monfils under pressure right away and was rewarded with a break in the first game of the match. And we're friends. He was one of the players on the tour that I've had the closest relationship with. I hit good forehands and backhands and I served well.

  • Tabitha Byrd