EASTBOURNE, England (AP) — American qualifier Jamie Hampton’s remarkable run at Eastbourne ended in defeat Saturday against Elena Vesnina of Russia in the final of the Wimbledon warm-up.
Vesnina won in straight sets — 6-2, 6-1 — denying Hampton’s bid to become the first American woman to take the title since Chanda Rubin beat Conchita Martinez in 2003.
Vesnina, who lost the first six finals of her career, has now won her last two after victory in Hobart in January.
The 41st-ranked Hampton was playing in her first career final after upsetting fourth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska and ninth-ranked Caroline Wozniacki.
The grass-court match was played in windy conditions that led to Vesnina receiving a time violation warning early in the second set as she waited to serve.
“It was really difficult to play today,” Vesnina said. “I think we both were struggling with this wind.”
Hampton failed to take advantage of two break points at 2-2 in the first set before Vesnina broke to lead 4-2 with a backhand slice, and the American wasted three more break points as Vesnina served for 5-2.
In the second set Vesnina broke for 2-0 on her fourth break point in a game that stretched to eight minutes, and a further break for 5-1 left the Russian serving for victory.
“She played the conditions much better than I did,” Hampton said. “Obviously I’m disappointed that I lost today and I would have loved to have won it, but on to the next tournament.”
Hampton faces fellow American Sloane Stephens in the first round at Wimbledon.
Feliciano Lopez played Gilles Simon in the men’s final later Saturday.