Lopez and Keys prove their class on grass
Feliciano Lopez proved that there is more than one left-handed Spaniard capable of doing damage at Wimbledon when he beat Richard Gasquet to win the Aegon International grasscourt title at Eastbourne on Saturday.
Lopez fired down 14 aces in a 6-3 6-7(5) 7-5 win as he made up for the disappointment of losing in the prestigious Queen`s Club final to Grigor Dimitrov the previous weekend.
In the women`s final big-hitting American teenager Madison Keys claimed her first WTA title when she beat fifth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3 3-6 7-5.
Long in the shadow of his more celebrated compatriot Rafa Nadal, Lopez will arrive at Wimbledon on Monday with the knowledge that he, rather than the world number one, will be the in-form Spaniard on grass courts.
While Nadal has lost his last three matches on grass dating back to 2012, Lopez showed that he has found his groove on the slick turf by making it to consecutive finals.
The 32-year-old, who will be a dangerous floater seeded 19th at Wimbledon, lost serve only once against Gasquet in an interesting clash of styles.
After breaking serve in the 11th game of the decider, Lopez clinched the title on his second match point with a second serve ace.
"The way I play here is completely different from where I play on other surfaces around the world," said Lopez, who had never beaten Gasquet in five previous matches.
"I was fighting. Some times you give up a little bit earlier than normal and today I didn`t."
The 19-year-old Keys is being tipped as the big future hope of American women`s tennis and she showed why against Kerber, the world No.9.
Keys, the youngest player in the women`s top 50, clocked the fastest serve on the women`s tour this year (126mph) during a scintillating display of attacking tennis.
"It`s incredible to be able to win this tournament along with so many other great players," Keys said after being presented with the trophy by Martina Navratilova.