THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published — Sunday 23 June 2013
Last update 26 June 2013 5:27 am
EASTBOURNE: Feliciano Lopez of Spain won his third career title when he beat second-seeded Gilles Simon 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 6-0 in the Eastbourne final yesterday, days before they meet again in the first round at Wimbledon.
Meanwhile, Elena Vesnina of Russia won her second WTA title when she defeated American qualifier Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-1 in their final.
Lopez won just four of 21 break points and Simon one of six. After an exchange of breaks midway through the first set, the Spaniard failed to win a set point at 5-4 before taking the tiebreaker. In the second set it was Simon who held a set point at 5-4 ahead of winning the tiebreaker, before Lopez responded by dominating the final set.
“It’s definitely a good feeling to win the week before Wimbledon,” Lopez said. “Conditions were so tough but we did our best. Hopefully at Wimbledon we can play a better match.”
Vesnina, who lost the first six finals of her career, has now won her last two after also winning in Hobart in January. Hampton was playing in her first career final after upsetting No. 4-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 9-ranked Caroline Wozniacki.
The windy conditions made it difficult for players to produce their best tennis, and Vesnina received a time violation warning early in the second set as she waited to serve.
“It was really difficult to play today, honestly. I think we both were struggling with this wind,” Vesnina said. “I was just trying to play aggressive and deep so Jamie didn’t have the time to attack. So that was my game plan.”
Hampton was the first qualifier to reach a WTA final this year, and was attempting to become the first qualifier to win a title since Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova at Eastbourne in 2010.
She will be ranked on Monday as the third American behind Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens. Hampton and Stephens will clash in the first round at Wimbledon.