Unseeded Russian Elena Vesnina sealed the second WTA title of her tennis career on a wind-blown on Saturday to win the Eastbourne International 6-2, 6-1 over qualifier Jamie Hampton.
Feliciano Lopez became the first Spaniard to win the event as he beat second seed Gilles Simon 7-6 (7-/2), 6-7 (5-7), 6-0 in nearly three hours in the wind.
Lopez won his third title and first on grass. He produced 16 aces and broke on four of his 21 chances.
The 31-year-old is 3-7 in career finals as he heads to Wimbledon, where he will face Simon in the first round.
“It’s funny to play the same guy in three days. But sometimes these things can happen. I’m very happy to win my third title.
“It’s a great feeling - good for me, for my game, for my confidence for the rest of the year. It’s definitely been a great week for me.” Vesnina, who claimed the French Open doubles title a fortnight ago with Ekaterina Makarova, was able to play a controlled game for 73 minutes to dominate Hampton, who was competing on the big stage for the first time.
While the whipping wind off the south coast of England was a continual torment for both players, Vesnina used past experience to go through successfully.
“I also won the Hobart title (last January, the first of her career) in wind. I used to hate it - now I just love it,” said the Russian, who had lost her first six titles until the Tasmanian triumph.
Vesnina won 10 of the last 11 games against Hampton, ending with 13 winners and four breaks of the 23-year-old American.
“I’m very happy right now. My life has changed a bit this season, I’m happy on and off the court. I’m playing well and feeling so good, it’s amazing,” said Vesnina.
The Russian will rise to a 22nd ranking while Hampton will enter Wimbledon at 25th.
But the American who will become national number three faces a tough start at the All England club as she plays compatriot Sloane Stephens in the opening round.
“It’s a bit of a bummer to play another American in the first round, but I’ll treat it like any other match and try to come out on top,” said the first US finalist at Eastbourne since Chanda Rubin in 2003.
“The wind was tough, but it is what it is. It was the same for both of us, but she (Vesnina) handled the conditions much better than I did. She really deserves the title.”