Eastbourne, England: Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, playing her first match since winning the French Open, survived a tough battle at the Aegon International on Monday, winning a topsy-turvy contest against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3 0-6 6-4.
There was a shock, though, at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park as defending champion Dominika Cibulkova suffered a second-round knockout by British player Heather Watson.
Watson, whose ranking has slumped to 126 in the world, delighted the home crowd with a 7-5 6-4 defeat of the fourth-seeded Slovakian.
Ostapenko, who shot up to 13th in the world after her stunning triumph in Paris, played with her usual mixture of clean winners and errors to overpower her opponent, despite a second set meltdown when her game misfired on the grass.
The 20-year-old Ostapenko, who got a first-round bye, will face either Britain’s fifth-seeded Johanna Konta or Romanian Sorana Cirstea in round three.
World number nine Cibulkova saved three match points when Watson served at 5-3 in the second set but after breaking back she immediately dropped her own serve as her Wimbledon preparations were cut short.
Cibulkova has been bothered by a wrist injury this season but said that had not been a factor in her loss.
“It’s more about to be more confident or to get some matches on my side, and it will be a different story,” she told reporters. “Because right now it feels like the situations go against me in the match, and it just doesn’t go my way.” There was also an early defeat for Canda’s former Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard who lost 6-3 3-6 6-2 to Czech Barbora Strycova.
Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) bt Naomi Broady (GBR) 6-2, 6-7 (7/9), 6-1
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 6-3, 6-2
Naomi Osaka (JPN) bt Risa Ozaki (JPN) 6-0, 6-1
Veronica Cepede (PAR) bt Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Duan Ying-Ying (CHN) bt Christina McHale (USA) 6-3, 4-0 retired
Peng Shuai (CHN) bt Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 6-3, 6-4
Zhang Shuai (CHN) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-2, 6-1
Lauren Davis (USA) bt Kristmna Kucova (SVK) 6-4, 6-2
Barbora Str}cova (CZE) bt Euginie Bouchard (CAN) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
Karolmna Pliskova (CZE x3) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-4, 6-3
Heather Watson (GBR) bt Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x4) 7-5, 6-4
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x10) bt Carla Suarez (ESP) 6-3, 0-6, 6-4
Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) bt Daria Gavrilova (AUS x16) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x14) bt Elise Mertens (BEL) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) bt Jirm Vesel} (CZE) 6-3, 6-4
Donald Young (USA) bt Kyle Edmund (GBR) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Jared Donaldson (USA) bt Diego Schwartzman (ARG x8) 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 7-5
Kevin Anderson (RSA) bt Thomaz Belluci (BRA) 6-3, 6-1
Robin Haase (NED) bt Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
Bernard Tomic (AUS) bt Norbert Gombos (SVK) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3
Cameron Norrie (GBR) bt Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)