In Brief | Tennis June 23


Halep beats Flipkens, Mahut wins at Rosmalen

ROSMALEN, Netherlands — Nicolas Mahut of France won his first ATP title at the age of 31, playing impeccable serve-and-volley tennis to beat second-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4 in the Topshelf Open final on Saturday.

Earlier, Simona Halep won her second title in two weeks, beating Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-2 in a rain-interrupted women’s final.

Mahut’s and Wawrinka’s match also was disrupted by rain and Mahut — appearing in his first final since 2007 — dealt with the interruptions better.

The Frenchman’s victory on grass capped a comeback from a career-threatening knee injury that sidelined him for months.

Mahut had to break Wawrinka only twice for the victory, once to take a 5-3 lead in the first set — with Wawrinka serving a double fault to gift the Frenchman the game — and again in the third game of the second set.

Mahut’s serve was broken only once all week and he will head to Wimbledon full of confidence for his opening match against Jan Hajek. Wawrinka faces Lleyton Hewitt in the first round.

In the women’s final, Halep was a break up at 5-4 when rain forced a 75-minute break, but she came back strong, holding serve to take the set.

She then twice broke Flipkens’ serve to race to 3-0 before the Belgian broke back.

But Flipkens had no answer to the powerful groundstrokes from Halep, who easily won her first grass-court title.

Halep clinched her first WTA title last week in the inaugural Nurnberger Versicherungscup, a clay event. She heads to Wimbledon where she faces Olga Govortsova in the first round.

Lopez, Vesnina win Eastbourne finals

EASTBOURNE, England — Feliciano Lopez of Spain won his third career title when he beat second-seeded Gilles Simon 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 6-0 in the Eastbourne final on Saturday, days before they meet again in the first round at Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, Elena Vesnina of Russia won her second WTA title when she defeated American qualifier Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-1 in their final.

Lopez won just four of 21 break points and Simon one of six. After an exchange of breaks midway through the first set, the Spaniard failed to win a set point at 5-4 before taking the tiebreaker.

In the second set it was Simon who held a set point at 5-4 ahead of winning the tiebreaker, before Lopez responded by dominating the final set.

“It’s definitely a good feeling to win the week before Wimbledon,” Lopez said. “Conditions were so tough but we did our best. Hopefully at Wimbledon we can play a better match.”

Vesnina, who lost the first six finals of her career, has now won her last two after also winning in Hobart in January. Hampton was playing in her first career final after upsetting No. 4-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 9-ranked Caroline Wozniacki.

From wire sources