Nottingham Festival of Tennis
Aegon Trophy , Aegon Nottingham Challenge & British Open
1st – 16th June & 16th - 21st July
Last updated: 09/06/2012
Urszula Radwanska by James Jordan Photography
Number seven seed Urszula Radwanska has won the AEGON Trophy in Nottingham, defeating American qualifier Coco Vandeweghe in a topsy-turvy final, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.
The Pole took control of the match from the off, winning the opening set by a comfortable margin. But Vandeweghe, who had beaten Britain’s Anne Keothavong 6-3, 6-2 in the semi-final earlier in the day, was determined to put up a fight.
Some big serves and powerful stroke play in the second ensured the final would go down to the wire as the American produced her best tennis of the match.
Unfortunately Vandeweghe was unable to hit the heights of the middle set and Radwanska closed the match out with aplomb.
“I’m so pleased with the win,” said the 21-year-old, who is sister to world number three Agnieszka Radwanska. “It’s a great way to kick off my grass court season and to win against such a tough opponent makes me very happy.
“Coco is a really powerful player and has a great serve; I knew I had to attack early to get her off her game. The conditions were quite challenging with one end of the court very windy and the other less so – it was hard to get a rhythm going.
“I knew she would hit the ball hard but I just tried to concentrate on my performance and move her around the court. I lost a bit of concentration in the second set which let her back in and she certainly picked up her game then – thankfully I was able to pull it together again.”
Vandeweghe’s route to the final was marathon like as she battled her way through qualifying before taking her place in the show piece event.
Despite falling at the final hurdle the world number 157 was delighted with her week’s work.
“It’s been a while since I’ve played eight matches in a week,” said the 20-year-old. “Playing two matches on finals day wasn’t ideal but the weather has dictated that and it couldn’t be helped.
“Urszula played great, she got a lot of balls back and kept forcing me to play that extra shot – overall it’s been a brilliant week.”
In the women’s doubles final British duo Laura Robson and Heather Watson were unable to knock number one seeds Eleni Daniilidou and Casey Dellacqua off their perch, losing 6-4, 6-2.
Meanwhile, former world number 20 Dmitry Tursunov outclassed Australia’s Marinko Matosevic in the first semi-final, recording a 7-6, 6-3 victory.
At times the Russian’s shot play was sublime although on more than one occasion he was forced to rely on his serve to maintain control of the match.
He said: “I came up with the big plays when it mattered. Every time I had to save a break point I hit a big serve. Obviously it’s great that I can do that but if I want to win the final I need to be more consistent.
“With each match my confidence has grown and I go into the final with belief that I can win.”
Tursunov will meet Germany’s Benjamin Becker in the final after he came through in three sets against American qualifier Robert Kendrick, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6.
The first men’s qualifying round of the AEGON Challenge began in earnest yesterday with a number of Brits in action.
Joshua Ward Hibbert had been given a wild card into the event following his French Open Junior excursion. The 18-year-old was in buoyant mood after enjoying some time with Rafa Nadal on the practice courts but fellow Brit Richard Bloomfield wasn’t going to let that affect him as he won a tight encounter 6-7, 6-3, 6-3.
Daniel Evans, James Feaver and Miles Bugby also went out in the first round.
07/04/13 – 23/06/13, Nationwide
13/05/13 - 18/05/13, Queenswood Tennis Centre
17/05/13 - 19/05/13, Nottingham Tennis Centre
20/05/13 - 25/05/13, The Virgin Active Cardiff Club