Hampton to face Vesnina in Eastbourne final round

EASTBOURNE, United Kingdom: American qualifier Jamie Hampton will play her first career final on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) when she faces Russia’s Elena Vesnina in the final of the Eastbourne International.

The 41st-ranked Hampton earned her place with a 6-7 (8) 7-5, 6-3 upset of former world number one Caroline Wozniacki on Friday, while Vesnina followed up her ouster of China’s second seed Li Na in the quarter-finals by crushing Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-2, 6-0 in just 51 minutes.

The men’s final was also set with second seed Gilles Simon to take on Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

Simon beat 2011 champion Andreas Seppi, the Italian seventh seed, 6-4, 6-3, while Lopez, a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist, defeated Croatian Ivan Dodig 7-6 (7/3), 6-1.

“To be in the finals is a great feeling, it’s good for me, for my game, for my confidence for the rest of the year,” said Lopez.

“I’m very happy with my performance, and hopefully I can keep playing like this until the end of the year so I can improve my ranking again.”

Simon will be appearing in his first career grass court final, the 14th of his career.

A winner of ten trophies, Simon is the sixth Frenchmen to reach the final here.

Earlier, the Hampton-Wozniacki clash took nearly three hours but could have ended much earlier had fifth seed Wozniacki managed to complete a straight-sets win.

As it was, the Dane was made to pay the price for missed opportunities by her surprise opponent in their first meeting.

“Obviously I would have loved to have won today, it would have been worth it to be out there for three hours,” said Wozniacki.

“Actually we played a very good match. The wind that was there, it was so difficult. But I had my chances. I didn’t take them, and, she played very well, I have to say.

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