Eastbourne | Djokovic eases into final
Novak Djokovic travelled to Eastbourne to try and rediscover his form ahead of Wimbledon and by reaching the men’s final at the Aegon International, he seems to have turned that corner, regaining some of that lost confidence.
I’m really glad that I’ll be able to fight for the trophy. I haven’t had too many opportunities to fight for the trophy in the last 10-to-12 months. Novak Djokovic
For the 30-year-old number one seed, it is only his third final of the season and he has achieved it comfortably by not dropping a set throughout, including his 6-4 6-4 semi-final victory over Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Further improvement is likely if he is to succeed over the Fortnight, whilst a bigger test awaits him when he faces Gael Monfils in Saturday’s final.
“I am enjoying undoubtedly this week and the fact that I’m in the finals obviously makes it even better,” said the Serbian, who is playing his first Wimbledon warm-up event in seven years.
“I’m really glad that I’ll be able to fight for the trophy. I haven’t had too many opportunities to fight for the trophy in the last 10-to-12 months.
“I haven’t had too many finals, so it’s actually a good feeling, and it’s something I’m working very hard for.
“It comes in the right moment, because I need to build that kind of level of confidence and the matches won obviously help that. Coming into Wimbledon, I’m hoping that I can continue in this path of raising the performance and the quality of tennis
“Grand Slams are different from any other tournament, but a tournament is a tournament. For a top player to go out on the court, regardless of the level of competition or the category of the event you always expected to deliver.
“I wouldn’t make that promise (to return to Eastbourne in 2018), because it was a particular situation this year, although I wouldn’t rule it out, considering the nice experience I have had so far. I’m not accustomed to play in the week just before the start of the Grand Slams, but I still will not rule it out for next year.”
Monfils recovered from an injury to his left knee in the second set to defeat his compatriot Richard Gasquet 6-2 6-7(7) 7-6(4) and Djokovic said: “He’s such a dynamic player and unpredictable.