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Elena Vesnina and Feliciano Lopez win big in Eastbourne

Posted on Saturday, 22 June by

Elena Vesnina

The duo of Elena Vesnina and Feliciano Lopez took home the spoils as the Aegon International came to a thrilling climax at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park. Both finals served up unpredictable tennis as the wind played havoc on centre court.

After a week of top-tier tennis, the business end of the tournament came swinging into view this afternoon and singles finals were served up to a near sold-out centre court crowd.

Kicking off the afternoon was the women’s final between Elena Vesnina and underdog qualifier, Jamie Hampton. The 23-year-old has dominated headlines in Eastbourne this week after becoming the first qualifier to reach a WTA final this year, overcoming Caroline Wozniacki in a marathon semi-final clash.

However Elena Vesnina proved to strong for Hampton on the grandest stage, overpowering the American 6-2 6-1 in 76 minutes. Tricky conditions affected both players, with Vesnina struggling to get her serve started and Hampton failing to any consistency with her range.

The runner-up, Jamie Hampton, remained in good humour after her loss: “I’ve given myself a two-hour time limit to sulk. The journey up to Wimbledon I can sulk, maybe have a little chocolate, and then move on.”

Hampton’s biggest chance came in the fifth game of the first set, holding two break points over the eventual winner when things were level. After failing to take her chances, Hampton crumbled and a newly-confident Elena Vesnina never looked back.

Eastbourne’s newly-crowned champion said: “It was a real pleasure to play [in Eastbourne] since my first match. People here really understand tennis, the rules and they help players to feel comfortable on the court.”

The men’s final proved to be an epic affair, with Feliciano Lopez and second seed Giles Simon pushing themselves to breaking point. The first two sets lasted well in excess of two hours and both went to tie break with Lopez taking the first, Simon the second.

Once again, wind proved to be a heavy influence as the match played out, with Lopez receiving a warning for slow play after waiting too long for the wind to pass before serving. While the abject conditions made for some truly freak exchanges, neither player appeared to lose heart.

The difference came in the second game of the third set, when Lopez finally found a way past the serve of his French opponent. From there, Simon never quite got his head in the game and ended up losing the final set 6-0.

The two are due to do it all again in the first round of Wimbledon on Monday.

At the trophy presentation, Lopez said: “Hopefully we put on a better show next week.”

Women’s Final Result:
E. Vesnina (Rus) def. J. Hampton (USA)
6-2 6-1

Men’s Final Result:
F. Lopez (Esp) def. G. Simon (Fra)
7-6 6-7 6-0

The Aegon International returns to Eastbourne in June 2014.

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Corey Pellatt
22-year-old editor of SQ Magazine and Media Studies student at the University of Sussex. Freelance writer for clients including BHAFC.

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