Champion Bartoli beaten in Eastbourne semi-finals
EASTBOURNE (Reuters) - Defending champion Marion Bartoli was beaten 4-6 7-5 6-4 by unseeded Austrian Tamira Paszek in the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International on Friday.
Bartoli, the fourth seed, paid tribute to her unheralded opponent who will play German fifth seed Angelique Kerber in Saturday's final at the Wimbledon warm-up event.
"I really felt like I tried my hardest and there wasn't much I could have done better," the Frenchwoman told reporters.
"Tamira played really well. She deserved to win, she really fought hard and came back to win the match."
Paszek, a quarter-finalist at last year's Wimbledon, has had a year plagued by injury and said she was delighted to be back in form for this year's All-England tournament which starts on Monday.
"I've been working a lot on my fitness, my game, different kinds of things. It's just lovely to be back on court and healthy and just winning matches," she said.
Kerber took the first seven games of her semi-final with unseeded Czech Klara Zakopalova before winning 6-0 6-3.
"It's my first time reaching a final on grass and it's a big thing for me," the German said. "I came here a week ago and the plan was to have a lot of matches before Wimbledon so it feels very good."
In the men's event at windy Eastbourne, former world number one Andy Roddick did double duty to collect his 600th match win.
Rain delays on Thursday meant the men had to play the quarter-finals and semi-finals on Friday.
The American first beat Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3 3-6 7-5 and then went through to the final when Belgian Steve Darcis retired because of injury at 6-3 3-1 down.
Roddick, given a wildcard into the seaside event, will play holder Andreas Seppi in the final after the Italian defeated American Ryan Harrison 7-5 6-1.
(Writing by Clare Fallon; editing by Tony Jimenez)
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