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Seppi Wins First ATP World Tour Title In Eastbourne

Eastbourne, England

Seppi© Getty ImagesSeppi upset No. 3 seed Janko Tipsarevic to claim his first ATP World Tour title in Eastbourne.

In a battle between players bidding for their first ATP World Tour title, World No. 51 Andreas Seppi came out on top Saturday at the AEGON International in Eastbourne, defeating No. 3 seed Janko Tipsarevic 7-6(5), 3-6, 5-3 after the Serbian retired late in the match with a right hip injury. The Italian battled past Igor Kunitsyn 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 earlier in the day after rain washed out all of Friday’s action at the ATP World Tour 250 grass-court event. "It's for sure a special moment for me," said Seppi. "I didn't expect to win my first title on grass, but I really enjoy playing on this surface."

After splitting the first two sets, Seppi raced to a 4-0 lead in the final set, before rain struck, halting play yet again. Tipsarevic took full advantage of the delay, and clawed back to get on serve, to 3-4. However, the Serb lost serve again and subsequently retired from the match after two hours and 35 minutes of play.

Appearing in his second ATP World Tour final (2007 Gstaad), Seppi was just 7-11 in tour level events in 2011 entering Eastbourne, and hadn’t won back-to-back matches on the ATP World Tour since reaching the round of 16 at the Shanghai Rolex Masters last October (l. to Federer). "It's a good feeling. It was just my second final... I played a lot of semis and I was also close to winning my first title in 2007, where I was serving for the match and lost. It's a special feeling to win the first title and I hope that I can enjoy it for a few days," Seppi told ATPWorldTour.com

Tipsarevic, boasting a career-high ranking of No. 30 this week, drops to a 0-4 finals record with the loss. He finished runner-up in Delray Beach this year (l. to Del Potro) and was a finalist at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2010 and Moscow in 2009. "I have to accept it,  I lost. He was the better player than me today," admitted Tipsarevic.

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