EASTBOURNE, June 25, 2018 (Press Release)
A packed centre court crowd was treated to a thrilling day’s tennis at the Nature Valley International on Monday, Caroline Wozniacki, Karolina Pliskova and Andy Murray among the stars in the winners’ circle as a capacity crowd flocked to Devonshire Park for the combined men’s and women’s event.
On centre court, No.2 seed in the women’s draw, Karolina Pliskova, was taken the distance by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, sneaking through 6-4 2-6 6-3, while tournament top seed Caroline Wozniacki overcame a wobbly start to overcome Camila Giorgi 6-2 6-3.
“I’m happy to be on this surface, happy to be playing here,” said world No.2 Wozniacki. “I think it also helps that centre court here is so nice and so cozy. To have the crowd so close, it feels great. I feel very at home.
“I’m just happy to get myself tested on the grass this week, and this one was a great test for me, a great one leading up to Wimbledon.”
Meanwhile on court one Dominika Cibulkova won the battle of the former Eastbourne champions, easing past Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, 7-5 6-4 to earn a second round assignment against two-time Eastbourne finalist Angelique Kerber.
Murray is back
Former world No.1 Andy Murray delighted centre court spectators on Monday, winning his first match since Wimbledon 2017 6-1 6-3 over fellow comeback campaigner Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 25. Juni 2018
“It was obviously good to get the win against someone who is as good as Stan,” said Murray. “Hopefully I’m back on the tour competing now, and I want to enjoy every single win, but I also don’t want to get too carried away with one or two matches.”
Murray faces compatriot Kyle Edmund in the second round. “I’m sure he’ll go into the match feeling very confident,” said Murray. “And for me it’s another step in my recovery from the injury that I have had. It’s a really good test for me.”
Elsewhere on Monday, Britain’s Jay Clarke beat Ryan Harrison 6-4 6-1, 2015 champion Denis Istomin beat 2011 champion Andreas Seppi, 2008 champion Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Timea Babos 6-3 6-1, and No.6 seed David Ferrer beat Matteo Berrettini 7-5 6-3.
Wrapping up an action-packed day at the Nature Valley International, British wild card recipient Harriet Dart set up a second round clash with No.11 seed Anastasija Sevastova, beating world No.78 Kristyna Pliskova 7-5 3-6 6-3.
Konta to face Krunic
British No.1 Johanna Konta embarks on her hometown campaign on Tuesday, taking on Aleksandra Krunic. The Eastbourne native said she was excited to make her return to the Devonshire Park courts.
“When you get the opportunity to play in front of big crowd they bring energy to the match,” said Konta. “It’s a privilege for an athlete to play in front of their home crowd, so for me it’s especially great to be playing here as the fans have always given me a lot of support.
“It’s a very strong field this year – as it is every year – so this is a good opportunity to keep working on good habits and to try to battle my way through this draw and to do as well as possible. Every tournament is an opportunity to perform and gain ranking points. I’m really looking forward to this event and playing some great tennis here.”