Ostapenko Returns To Eastbourne Final

Jelena Ostapenko (photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for LTA)


Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia moved one step closer to defending her Rothesay International Eastbourne title as she beat Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-2 in Friday’s semi-final.

Giorgi was unable to handle the former Grand Slam champion throughout the 70 minute encounter. Ostapenko will play in her second championship match of the season after she won the title in Dubai in February and will look to become the first woman to defend the Eastbourne crown since Justine Henin in 2007.

“So far it has been a great week. Every match I’m feeling better and better,” said Ostapenko. “Today was a tough match, but I went out there very confident and focused and I think I showed some good tennis today. She’s such a great player and person. We’ve had some tough matches and it’s going to be tough because grass is one of her favourite surfaces. I’m just going to look forward to it and enjoy it as much as I can because it’s great to play a final.”

Ostapenko is also through to the doubles final. The 25-year-old and partner Ludmila Kichenok of Ukraine will play Aleksandra Krunic from Serbia and Magda Linette of Poland.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic reached her second final at the WTA 500 grass-court even (and first in 11 years) after she snapped Beatriz Haddad Maia’s 12-match win streak 7-6(5), 6-4 inside two hours on Centre Court. Kvitova snatched the opening set on a tie-break and then got the only break of serve in the opening game of the second set to end Nottingham and Birmingham champion’s winning streak. Saturday will mark Kvitova’s first grass-court final since she won her second trophy in Birmingham in 2018.

“I was ready for the revenge, and it was sweet. I’m very happy for it,” said Kvitova. “Today was about the serve and it was key during the tiebreak. There was just one break during the whole match, it was really a grass match. I’m just glad I played better than in Birmingham. It’s a final. There’s no easy matches. A final for me after almost a year will be great. Jelena loves to play here, we saw it last year, and she has a great game for grass. We played in Dubai and I had a match point but lost. So, I’m ready for the revenge.”

Cressy to face Fritz in all-US-American final

In the ATP 250 tournament, Maxime Cressy from the United States ended Jack Draper’s career-best run to the ATP semi-finals with a 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 6-3 victory after two hours and 42 minutes. The US-American’s serve-and-volley style proved to be a significant weapon and he held every single service game, saving all six break points he faced. Cressy will play in his second ATP Tour final, his first on grass and could move into the top-50 for the first time in his career.

“It’s an incredible feeling, especially dealing with the situation of playing three Brits with the crowd,” said Cressy. “I’m proud of myself of how I managed to deal with it. I came back in the third, and I had too otherwise the crowd would’ve eaten me alive. I feel like my confidence is bigger [than in January], I think I can go really far in the next couple of weeks.”

Despite defeat, Draper’s efforts in Eastbourne mark a career-best week for the 20-year-old Briton and should see him begin his Wimbledon fortnight ranked back inside the World’s Top 100.

Cressy will face 2019 Eastbourne champion Taylor Fritz in Saturday’s all-US-American men’s final. Fritz, aided by his potent serve, withstood a fightback from defending champion Alex de Minaur to end the Australian’s title defence with a 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3 win.

Mektic/Pavic crowned doubles champions

In other action, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic from Croatia won their fourth title of the season as they beat Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop and Luke Saville of Australia in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 in the men’s doubles final.

The Croatian pair have now won four straight grass-court titles together after last week’s win at the cinch Championships and improve their record to 19-1 on grass. The reigning Wimbledon champions have not dropped a set all week and completed their title-winning performance inside 63 minutes.

“We didn’t lose a set here and we played really well, but I think that was a result of winning Queens and coming here with confidence. We’ve been a little bit more relaxed and less stressed about it,” said Mektic.