EASTBOURNE, England -- World No.14 Daria Kasatkina captured her first title of the season after defeating Leylah Fernandez 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Rothesay International. A runner-up at Devonshire Park last year, Eastbourne is Kasatkina's seventh career title and first on grass.

"It's been a year, but it feels like it's been a few days since last year when I was standing here," Kasatkina said on court. In Eastbourne, she notched wins over Wang Xinyu, Yuan Yue, Emma Raducanu and No.7 Jasmine Paolini to secure a spot in her third grass-court final.

Kasatkina came into Saturday's final with a 0-3 record in Hologic WTA Tour finals this season, having reached the finals in Charleston, Abu Dhabi, and Adelaide. The victory delivered her first title since 2022 Granby.

"I just feel like I put down some very heavy backpack," Kasatkina said. "Even though I understand that playing fourth final of the year, it's a great achievement, still, if you don't win, you have a very bitter feeling after that."

Kasatkina improved her record to 3-0 over Fernandez, who was contesting her first grass-court final. Ranked No.30 in the PIF WTA Rankings, Fernandez came into Eastbourne off a confidence-boosting run the quarterfinals in Birmingham. In Eastbourne, she topped Barbora Krejcikova in the first round and ended Madison Keys' title defense in the semifinals. 

But facing Kasatkina's clever all-court game, Fernandez struggled to break through on Kasatkina's serve. The No.6 seed broke serve in the first game and then saved three break points in an 11-deuce game to hold to 4-2. She then broke Fernandez again to seal the opening set and continued the pattern in the second.

After breaking Fernandez for a 2-0 lead in the second set, Kasatkina saved four break points to consolidate her lead to 3-0. Fernandez proved her resilience to fight back and lead 4-3, but failed to hold her serve through the remainder of the 1-hour and 50-minute match.

"The second set, it's been a roller coaster," Kasatkina said. "Honestly didn't feel great being 3-0 up and then 3-4 down in five minutes, ten minutes. But I'm proud of myself how I stayed there, how I didn't lose my mind, because was pretty easy, I was 3-4 down, returning with new balls against the wind.

"That could be a very tough moment, and it was a tough moment, but really happy how I overcome this situation."

Kasatkina heads to Wimbledon with a 6-1 record on grass this season and an outstanding 33-17 career record on the soft turf. She will be seeded 14th and face Zhang Shuai in the first round. 

In doubles, Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko defeated top seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe 5-7, 7-6(2) [10-8] to win their second title of the season.