|Roberta Vinci returns a shot to Jelena Dokic during their women's final match at the Unicef Open on June 18, 2011. (REUTERS/Paul Vreeker)
'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, THE NETHERLANDS - Italy's Roberta Vinci claimed her second title of the year with a three-set win over Jelena Dokic of Australia in the final of the Unicef Open.
Vinci rallied for a 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 7-5 triumph for her first career grass court title. She won earlier this spring in Barcelona on clay and Saturday's triumph gave her a record of 5-1 all-time in WTA finals.
Dokic was also trying for her second title of 2011. She had ended a nine-year winless drought back in March by capturing the Malaysian Open. Saturday's loss dropped the 28-year-old to 6-8 in title matches.
"I'm happy with my performance, I've had a good week," said Dokic. "I'm happy to have reached this far and I'm looking forward to Wimbledon."
In the first meeting between the two, Dokic finally converted on her fifth set point to win the opener in a tiebreaker. Vinci, though, bounced back nicely to capture the second set, then broke serve for a 5-4 lead in the third. Dokic then broke back, but Vinci rebounded with another break and held serve to close it out.
Vinci, ranked 30th in the world, will try to carry the momentum of Saturday's win into Wimbledon, where she has never fared well. In four previous visits to the All England Club, the 28-year-old has never been past the third round. She will face Russia's Vera Dushevina in the first round.
"I'm a little tired after this week, but that's ok," said Vinci after the match. "I've won, so I'm ready [for Wimbledon]."
Dokic, a former top-five player, has had her greatest Grand Slam success on the famed lawns of the London suburb. She made the quarterfinals in her maiden Wimbledon appearance as a 16-year-old in 1999, beating top-seeded Martina Hingis in the first round, then reached the semifinals the following year.
After winning five titles between the 2001 and '02 seasons, reaching as high as No. 4 in the rankings, injuries and personal issues set her back. Next week, she will play at Wimbledon for only the second time since 2004 with a first-round match against French Open runner-up Francesca Schiavone of Italy.
Vinci collected a first prize of $37,000.