Taylor Fritz became the first man to win three titles at the Eastbourne International on Saturday as he defeated Max Purcell 6-4 6-3 in the final.

Fritz did not drop a single set en route to his eighth ATP title, only losing four points behind his first serve in the showpiece match.

He served brilliantly and was aggressive in reaching the net throughout the title match, earning a decisive break at 5-4 in the opening set.

He then won 12 straight points to seize control of the second set, ultimately needing just 71 minutes to reclaim the crown he previously won in 2019 and 2022. 

Data Debrief: Fritz America's best again

Having triumphed at Delray Beach back in February, Fritz has now won multiple ATP titles within a third straight calendar year.

His victory also ensures he will move up to 12th in next week's world rankings, overtaking Tommy Paul to become American number one once more.

Taylor Fritz remains on course to complete a hat-trick of titles at Eastbourne, with a straight-sets victory over Aleksandar Vukic sending him through to the final.

The American, who lifted the trophy here in 2019 and 2013, prevailed 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4) with five of the six sets he has played this week going to tie-breaks.

Nevertheless, the top seed is now one win away from landing his first ATP title of the season.

"[Being a former champion] has been helping me all week," he said. "I love playing here. The tournament is extra special to me because this is where I got my first title. Hopefully, I'll be back tomorrow to get number three."

Standing in his way is Max Purcell, who will contest his maiden ATP tour-level final after ending the hopes of home favourite Billy Harris.

The Australian has enjoyed a timely upturn in form this week, having arrived at Eastbourne off the back of four successive defeats.

Purcell was taken the distance by the British wildcard, but eventually came through 6-4 4-6 6-4.

Data Debrief: History beckons for Fritz

The joint-most successful player in the history of the ATP 250 event, Fritz is one victory away from surpassing Feliciano Lopez (also two titles) on the roll of honour.

The American has only dropped eight points on first serve across his three matches this week.

Meanwhile, his opponent is set to march into uncharted territory on Saturday, having come good when it mattered in the deciding set - winning 16 of his 20 points on first serve.

Only one match was able to be completed on Friday at the Houston Open as organisers announced they would try to protect the playing surface for a busy weekend of action.

It was the third day in a row that has been washed out due to persistent rain, but after completing their first set on Wednesday, and their second set on Thursday, Max Purcell was allowed to finish off his 6-4 3-6 6-3 win over Daniel Altmaier.

It was the final first-round matchup yet to conclude, although there is still a second round, quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final to schedule in limited time before the ATP Tour rolls on.

The tournament's top seed, Frances Tiafoe, is yet to play a match yet after receiving a first-round bye, and it is the same case for second seed Tommy Paul.

In a statement, tournament director Bronwyn Greer said: "We want to ensure that our courts are in the best possible condition to complete our tournament this weekend, and with that in mind we have decided to forgo play today with the exception of that first-round match that is deep into the third set."

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