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Shnaider outplays Vekic to win Bad Homburg Open

Diana Shnaider won her first WTA title on grass, beating Donna Vekic 6-3 2-6 6-3 in the final of the Bad Homburg Open on Saturday, days before her first appearance in a Wimbledon singles main draw.

A thrilling first set saw Russia's Shnaider make a clinical start to go 3-1 up before Croatian Vekic's powerful returns made her work hard to hold every serve.

Shnaider saved two break points as she went 5-2 up with the game going through seven deuces before the Russian could hold. Her next serve also saw a prolonged battle with Vekic saving three set points, but Shnaider fought back from seven break points and landed an ace to win the set.

The momentum was with Vekic going into the second set and she quickly got her first break of the match to go 2-0 up, before breaking again to take the match into the final set.

The third set began on an even keel with both players breaking early, but the 20-year-old Shnaider remained calm under pressure and broke Vekic's serve twice in a row to clinch victory.

"Very glad I was able to play one of the best weeks of my life... hope I can keep going like this," Shnaider said after lifting the tournament's elephant-shaped trophy, her second career title.

"What a match you played... you really deserved the title," Vekic, who lost her second WTA final on grass, told Shnaider. "I got the small (elephant) this time and next year we will come back for the big one."

Vekic will face Wang Xiyu in the first round of Wimbledon on Monday, while Shnaider, who was eliminated from the qualifiers last year, will play Karolina Pliskova.

Read more on channelnewsasia.com