Eastbourne | Watson pulls off an excellent win
Heather Watson pulled off the best win of her career when she defeated the fourth seed and defending champion Dominika Cibulkova in the second round of the Aegon International while Cameron Norrie claimed his first win on the ATP Tour in the men’s draw.
It’s no secret that I got a little nervous, but I’m very pleased that I got through it in that last gameHeather Watson
Having slipped down the rankings following some poor results this season, Watson, the British No3 pulled off a remarkable win to oust the Slovak 7-5 6-4 and boost her confidence going in to Wimbledon where she will compete thanks to a wildcard.
She next faces the Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova the 14th seed and stands a chance of going deeper if she maintains the high tempo she managed against the speedy and resilient world No9.
“I’m so grateful for everyone who came out and supported today,” said Watson, currently ranked 126, who won on her fourth match point. “The atmosphere was incredible and I was getting goosebumps at the end there.
“It’s no secret that I got a little nervous, but I’m very pleased that I got through it in that last game.”
Meanwhile in the men’s draw, Cameron Norrie won his first match on the men’s tour beating Horaciao Zeballos 6-4 7-6(4).
The 21-year-old Briton who is still at a Texan University, played some solid tennis to make his mark on the tour, told the ATP website “It feels great… I couldn’t be more excited to have won my first match at the ATP level,” said the Brit, who will take on second seed Gael Monfils in the second round. “It was quite nice to know I didn’t play my best today. It’s nice to know that I can hang with these guys even if I’m not playing my best tennis. I can just build on that.”
The British No2 Kyle Edmund wasn’t so fortunate and was knocked out in his opening round by the American Donald Young 6-4 3-6 6-3 having had plenty of opportunities to take control of the match.
It was the latest defeat in a poor run of form for Edmund, who was beaten in the first round at Queen’s by the teenage Canadian Denis Shapovalov, and who has lost 13 of the past 16 matches he has played on grass courts.
Naomi Broady, who lost 6-2 6-7(9) 6-1 to the world No44 Kristyna Pliskova also had her chances but the Czech proved too strong for the Brit.
Most of the other seeds in action progressed comfortably, with Karolina Pliskova (3) defeating Alison Riske 6-4 6-3 and French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko (10) shrugging off a second-set collapse to down Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3 0-6 6-4, but Daria Gavrilova (16) was beaten by qualifier Lara Arruabarrena.
Other winners included Lauren Davis, Barbora Strycova and Kristyna Pliskova.
Meanwhile Petra Kvitova has pulled out of the event with an abdominal injury a day after winning the Birmingham title, no doubt as a precaution for Wimbledon where she has an outside chance of collecting her third title at SW19.