Germany’s Benjamin Becker defeated Dutch wild-card entry Raemon Sluiter 7-5, 6-3 to win the Den Bosch Open final on Saturday.
In the women’s event, Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand had earlier successfully defended her title by defeating 19-year-old Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 7-5.
Becker, ranked No. 82 in the world, won the title in 115 minutes against an opponent playing in his first tournament since returning to the sport from retirement.
“I want to first congratulate Benny. He was simply the better one today,” crowd favorite Sluiter said.
The 31-year-old also told a packed center court that speculation he might retire again if he lost the tournament was incorrect.
“I don’t have the feeling that I have missed chances this week. I have more the feeling that I took chances,” Sluiter said.
Becker, speaking in his native German, said he would return to defend his title next year, adding that Sluiter had made an unbelievable comeback.
The unseeded Tamarine, who defeated Russian world No. 1 Dinara Safina in the semi-finals, swiftly took the first set in her final before meeting more resistance from Wickmayer, carrying a leg injury, in the second.
The 32-year-old Thai, wearing an orange colored hat, eventually broke Belgian Wickmayer’s serve in the 12th game of the set to take the match.
“I’d like to congratulate Yanina. You played a great a tournament. Definitely, I’m dead at the end,” the world No. 47 told center court after accepting her trophy. “You’re making me run so much and playing so well.”
Wickmayer’s performance could lift the world No. 72 and Belgium’s highest ranked woman toward the top 50, tournament organizers said.
REUTERS AND AFP, EASTBOURNE, ENGLAND
Russian Dmitry Tursunov became the first men’s champion at the Eastbourne International with a 6-3, 7-6 win over Canadian qualifier Frank Dancevic on Saturday, but suffered an ankle injury that could dent his Wimbledon hopes.
The second-seeded Tursunov underwent surgery to remove bone spurs on his ankle six weeks ago, but said Saturday’s injury, which was treated by the trainer on court near the end of the final, was something new.
“It is a completely different thing, it feels more like a tendon,” said Tursunov, who has been seeded 25th for next week’s Wimbledon and reached the third round last year.
Asked if the injury would prevent him playing at the All England Club, Tursunov said: “I am definitely going to try to come out, unless I am going to be on crutches.”
He added, laughing: “Even then, I will try to come out.”
Dancevic, ranked No. 126 in the world, had beaten top seed Igor Andreev of Russia in the first round and proved a tough opponent for Tursunov on the Devonshire Park grass.
A single break settled the first set and only one game in the second set offered any break points after Dancevic hit two double faults, though he then managed to hold serve.
Tursunov had his ankle taped before the tie-break and gave away one match point when Dancevic pushed him into a forehand error after a long rally, but the Russian took victory on his second match point with a winning return.
Meanwhile, in the women’s final Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki, the sixth seed, had a 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 win over Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.
Wozniacki, 18, has made it to five finals this year and picks up her second WTA crown after her maiden triumph on clay in Florida.
The opening set saw a break apiece before it was forced to a tie-break, where Wozniacki raced to a 6-1 lead and held off a Razzano fightback to take the set 7-5.
Wozniacki broke in the opening game of the second set and, despite some determined play from her French opponent, she wrapped up the win in 1 hour, 41 minutes.
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