The men’s final pitches Australian Alex de Minaur against Italian Lorenzo Sonego in a clash between the second and third seeds with the former edging the latter in the betting stakes to become the Viking International champion of Eastbourne.
I played a quality opponent today and did what I needed to do. We've got one more match tomorrow against, you know, a hell of a competitor who's obviously already won a title on grass, so it's going to be incredibly tough. It's another challenge for me, another chance for me to go out there and have a swing and do the best I can. Alex de Minaur
The 22year-old De Minaur hasn’t dropped a set all week and once again showed his class in a 6-3 7-6(2) win over Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon, who has done well as a Lucky Loser entry.
The World No.77 was on a fantastic run to the semi-finals having responded positively to the call to replace Reilly Opelka in the main draw, to cause the Australian a few problems, breaking him twice in the match.
But the Queen’s semi-finalist never looked in any real trouble and proved just a level too high on the day.
“I’m very happy to be playing another final, playing some great tennis on the grass,”
De Minau said, “I really am enjoying myself out there, and hopefully I can play well tomorrow and take it home. I mean, that’s the plan.
“I have been playing well, been getting confidence from every match I have won, and I have had a lot of matches under my belt. So all those things kind of helped each other, and I’m able to go out there and play some good tennis.”
“I played a quality opponent today and did what I needed to do. We’ve got one more match tomorrow against, you know, a hell of a competitor who’s obviously already won a title on grass, so it’s going to be incredibly tough. It’s another challenge for me, another chance for me to go out there and have a swing and do the best I can.”
Sonego, winner of the Antalaya grass court event in 2019, had a more difficult time coming through a three set battle against another Lucky Loser into the tournament – Australia’s Max Purcell.
Purcell’s dream week has seen him defeat the likes of Gael Monfils, the top seed from France, and Andreas Seppi of Italy, Eastbourne champion in 2011, but couldn’t get over the line against a strong performance from Sonego.
After a minor dip in form in the second set, the 26-year-old Italian came out all guns blazing in the decider, winning 89% of points on his first serve to wrap up a 6-1 4-6 6-1 win after 97-minutes.
“I’m really happy, because this my second final here on grass,” said Sonego. “I like play here. I like the condition, because I can do something different. I can go on the net, I can do something with the serve, I’m more offensive. I wait for the final, and I want to do the same tomorrow.”
“We have only three tournaments on grass, and it’s not easy, the tennis here. But my tennis is good for this surface because I serve good. I can do something with the serve. And if I return better, I can do a great tournament every week here.”
In the men’s doubles final, Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram were defeated for the third time this year by the seemingly unstoppable Croatian pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 6-4, 6-3 who picked up their seventh title of the season.