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Eastbourne, England (Sports Network) - Unseeded Italian Andreas Seppi won his first ATP title after Serb Janko Tipsarevic retired in the third set of the Eastbourne International final.
In the final tuneup before Wimbledon, set to begin Monday, Seppi was leading in the third set when Tipsarevic retired due to a leg injury suffered while slipping on the grass surface.
"It's for sure a special moment for me," Seppi said. "I didn't expect to win my first title on grass, but I really enjoy playing on this surface."
Play had been halted prior to that due to rain and Seppi held a 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 5-3 lead when Tipsarevic called it quits. Tipsarevic had asked for play to be halted at the start of the third set, but his request was turned down by the tournament supervisor.
"This is a tough loss, but I really feel that I am old enough and a big enough professional that this, if I'm healthy, will not affect Wimbledon, my favorite tournament of the year," Tipsarevic said.
Both men had played semifinal matches earlier on Saturday due to rain wiping out play on Friday.
Tipsarevic, the third seed, defeated Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-2, 6-4, while Seppi took down Russian Igor Kunitsyn 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Seppi pocketed $102,000 for his first career title.
06/18 20:41:08 ET
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