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Eastbourne finalists have been decided with Belinda Bencic and Agnieszka Radwanska advancing in the singles draw, while Caroline Garcia & Katarina Srebotnik will take on Yung-Jan Chan & Jie Zheng for the doubles title.
The 2008 Aegon International champion, Radwanska had to battle hard to beat Sloane Stephens 6-1 6-7 (3) 6-2. The semi-final looked to be firmly in the Polish woman’s control in the opener but Stephens (USA) gained momentum in the second, pushing the match into a decider where Radwanska rallied to reveal the great form she’s displayed all week and round out the match in dominant fashion.
The No.9 seed will take on Bencic in the final. The pair has never played and Radwanska said she is looking forward to the challenge. “It’s always tough to play someone for the first time,” she said. “She is very talented and she’s had a great season so far. I will the first few games and see what to do after that.
“I will be extra motivated because I never win the same tournament twice so I will try extra hard to win. I wake in the morning and I just want to win,” Radwanska said.
Bencic will be looking for her maiden WTA singles title at the Aegon International Eastbourne on Saturday and is excited to face someone she has watched on TV many times. “It’s like a dream come true,” she said. “I’m very happy about it when I can face those players.”
Reflecting on her journey to the final, Bencic is relishing the prospect of claiming the first title of her career at Devonshire Park. “It’s a very good tournament for me. I’ve played a lot of good matches. I’m very happy about it,” she said.
Bencic advanced to the finals after Caroline Wozniacki retired trailing 0-3 in the first set, suffering a low back injury. “I have had slight back problems the whole week,” she said. “Today it stiffened up more and I felt like I couldn’t move the way I wanted to and felt pain. I felt really bad for the crowd and everyone who had come out”.
Wozniacki said she was expecting to be fit for Wimbledon. “Normally my body is very receptive to treatment, so hopefully I’m going to be fine in a couple of days,” Wozniacki said.
The Aegon International Eastbourne doubles title will be decided between the No 4 seeds Caroline Garcia (FRA) and Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) and Yung-Jan Chan (TPE) and Jie Zheng (CHN) in a match scheduled to follow immediately after the singles final on Centre Court.
Garcia and Srebotnik upset top seeds Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza while Chan and Zheng received a walkover into the finals from No.2 seeds Elena Vesnina (RUS) and Ekaterina Makarova (RUS), Makarova citing a left Achilles tendon injury.
In light of the unfortunate circumstances that saw an abbreviated day’s play at the Aegon International Eastbourne on Friday, tournament organisers will install a big screen at Devonshire Park for Saturday’s finals. Patrons who held a Centre Court ticket or a ground pass from Friday June 26 will receive free entry to Devonshire Park to watch the singles and doubles finals on the big screen on Saturday June 27 by exchanging their Friday ticket for a voucher at the box office which will open at 10am on Saturday morning.
Saturday’s play is scheduled to start at 12pm with the Aegon International Legends Challenge featuring former Eastbourne champions Lindsay Davenport and Marion Bartoli, and former British No.1s Greg Rusedski and Jeremy Bates.