Windswept Elena Vesnina sails to Eastbourne title
The Russian was just a fortnight removed from the French Open doubles title which she won alongside Ekaterina Makarova at Roland Garros. The player who lost her first six WTA finals before finally winning in January, admitted that conditions on court made life difficult.
Elena Vesnina mastered testing, windy conditions on Saturday to win the second title of her career with a 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Jamie Hampton at the Eastbourne International.
The men's title was to be decided later, with French second seed Gilles Simon playing Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
Vesnina will move up to 22nd in the world as a result of her success, with Hampton rising to a career-best 25th.
The Russian was adding to her breakthrough triumph in Hobart, Tasmania, the week before the Australian Open.
The contest took 73 minutes in whipping wind which resulted in several dead bounces and shots going out which would normally land in.
Vesnina had her own troubles with a billowy short skirt.
The Russian was just a fortnight removed from the French Open doubles title which she won alongside Ekaterina Makarova at Roland Garros.
"It's a big honour to win here," said Vesnina, who claimed the title on the 40th anniversary of the pre-Wimbledon tuneup. "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."
The player who lost her first six WTA finals before finally winning in January, admitted that conditions on court made life difficult.
"But I also won the Hobart title in wind. I used to hate it - now I just love it."
Vesnina, coached by her father, lifted the trophy at Devonshire park after winning ten of the last 11 games of the match.
She ended with 17 unforced errors, 13 winners and four breaks of the 23-year-old American from Alabama.
Hampton has taken ten days after beginning qualifying rounds to reach her her first WTA final. "I was so honoured to be here, it's been an unforgettable week for me," said the American who will play compatriot Sloane Stephens in the first round at Wimbledon.
"The wind was tough, but it is what it is. It was the same for both of us, but she handled the conditions much better than I did. She really deserves the title.
"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," added the first American finalist at Eastbourne since Chanda Rubin in 2003.