x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Marion Bartoli clinches title over Petra Kvitova

Frenchwoman claims first grass-court crown at Eastbourne.

Marion Bartoli posted a three-set win over Petra Kvitova to clinch the Aegon International title in Eastbourne.

The sixth-seeded Frenchwoman, a runner-up at Wimbledon in 2007, registered a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win over the fifth-ranked Czech to secure her first ever grass-court title.

Kvitova had her chances in a wind-affected match that lasted two hours 15 minutes – particularly in the final set – but Bartoli dug deep to register her first tour win since August 2009.

Leading by a set and 3-1 in the second, Bartoli looked set to cruise home to victory before Kvitova won three in a row to go 4-3 ahead. Kvitova held the rest of the way to take it to a decider.

With Bartoli struggling with a groin injury, the odds looked stacked in Kvitova's favour as they traded breaks on the way to 5-5 in the final set.

But it was the Frenchwoman who finished strongest, breaking for 6-5 before holding to seal the perfect result ahead of Wimbledon, for which she is seeded ninth.

The match was the second of the day for both women after rain yesterday meant the semi-finals were held over until this morning.

Kvitova reached the final after Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova retired during the second set, with Kvitova 7-6, 4-2 ahead.

Bartoli overcame Samantha Stosur, recording a comfortable 6-3 6-1 victory.

In the men's draw, Serbian Janko Tipsarevic eased into the final of with a straight-sets victory over Kei Nishikori.

The third seed dominated with his powerful serve in gusty conditions and the Japanese star had no answer, with Tipsarevic winning 6-2 6-4 to set up a final against Andreas Seppi.

Seppi's semi-final clash with Russia's Igor Kunitsyn proved a closer affair with the match lasting over two hours before Italian Seppi secured a 6-4 2-6 6-4 victory.