Alex de Minaur wins his first grass-court title, defeating Eastbourne in a three-set final.
Jelena Ostapenko and Alex de Minaur warmed up for Wimbledon in the best possible way on Saturday, winning their first grass-court titles.
Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion and a wildcard entry in Eastbourne, won her first WTA title in 2019 and fourth overall in the women’s final, defeating Anett Kontaveit 6-3 6-3.
The No.2-seeded de Minaur then rallied to defeat No.3 seed Lorenzo Sonego 4-6 6-4 7-6 (5) over more than two and a half hours in a men’s final in which both players finished with 107 points.
This was his fifth ATP title and second of 2021 for the 22-year-old Australian. All eight of his previous finals had taken place on hard courts, including his January championship in Antalya, Turkey.
De Minaur’s best Grand Slam performance came on a hard court as well, with a quarter-final run at last year’s US Open.
He has advanced to the third round of Wimbledon.
Ostapenko reached the semifinals and quarterfinals there in 2018 and 2015, respectively, and won the girls’ title there in 2014. However, she was eliminated in the first round of Wimbledon two years ago and also exited in the first round of each of this year’s first two major tournaments, the Australian Open and French Open.
On Monday, play begins at the All England Club.
“I believe I’ve gained some confidence, and now it’s probably time to demonstrate some good tennis at Wimbledon,” said Ostapenko, a 24-year-old Latvian ranked 43rd.
This was the first women’s final at Eastbourne since 2013 to feature two unseeded players.
Kontaveit, an Estonian 25-year-old, is ranked 27th. Her WTA finals record fell to 1-7.
De Minaur is certain to move up to a career-high No.15 in the ATP rankings next week, jumping from No.18.
He enters Wimbledon on an eight-match winning streak on grass this month, highlighted by a semifinal appearance at Queen’s Club last week.
Sonego, a 27th-ranked Italian, is now 0-2 against de Minaur in ATP finals and 2-2 in ATP semi-finals.