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Pliskova beats Wimbledon champ Kerber in Eastbourne final

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EASTBOURNE, England — Karolina Pliskova beat Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-4 in the Eastbourne final on Saturday, just two days before the grass-court Grand Slam starts in southwest London.

The No. 3-ranked Pliskova took the first set in just 31 minutes with three service breaks Saturday, and held on to an early break in the second to win the title. She fired seven aces and won 71 percent of points on her first serve.

Pliskova said the score didn’t reflect a tough match.

“I was fighting a lot and I think Angelique is one of the best grass-court players,” she said.

Pliskova didn’t drop a set all week in Eastbourne, and dropped just 19 games across five matches, including a 6-1, 6-2 demolition of fourth-ranked Kiki Bertens in the semifinals. She’s never gone further than the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Kerber hasn’t won a tournament since beating Serena Williams in last year’s Wimbledon final.

Pliskova previously won Eastbourne in 2017, a year after losing the final. Kerber has lost all three finals she has played at the Wimbledon tuneup.

Kerber starts her Wimbledon title defense against fellow German Tatjana Maria, and is in the same quarter of the draw as Williams and top-ranked Ash Barty. Pliskova starts against China’s Zhu Lin.

U.S. Open purse to surpass $57 million

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NEW YORK — The U.S. Open total purse this year is more than $57 million, the richest in tennis history.

The men’s and women’s singles champion will each receive $3.85 million, and the men’s and women’s doubles champion teams will get $740,000. Those are both the highest payouts in U.S. Open history.

The U.S. Tennis Association said Thursday it worked with the ATP and WTA Tours to determine specific round-by-round prize money levels, and that the payouts for each round are all Grand Slam tournament records.

The payouts start at $58,000 for the first round of singles.

The USTA adds that it will make a payment of $500,000 to each tour to support the ATP and WTA Tour player programs, including pension.

The final major of the year will be played Aug. 26 through Sept. 8.

Venus Williams to play San Jose for second straight year

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Venus Williams has committed to play in San Jose later this month, her second straight appearance in the event.

She will play her opening match of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in the night session July 30 after reaching the 2018 quarterfinals. The seven-time Grand Slam champion is in the field for the 15th time, though the tournament moved from Stanford to San Jose last year.

The 39-year-old Williams will be a wild-card entry in the tournament.