EASTBOURNE, June 27, 2018
Johanna Konta and Cameron Norrie put in sparkling performances at the Nature Valley International on Monday, delighting fans under sunny skies to bring the tally of British players still in singles action at Devonshire Park to five.
British No.1 Konta enjoyed a victorious homecoming on centre court on Monday, beating Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and 14 minutes to earn herself a third-round contest with world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki.
How far do you think Johanna can go this week?
— British Tennis (@BritishTennis) 26. Juni 2018
“I think I’m making good progress. I happy I got through my first round and also got to play a good doubles so it’s a good day overall today,” Konta said. “I believe in my ability and I know I can play well on this surface at home. I know she’s an incredibly tough competitor and is obviously a Grand Slam champion this year so she’s playing great tennis. It’s a great opportunity for me to play one of the best players in the world and keep trying to raise my level.”
Norrie fights past Brands
British No.2 Norrie was also in top form on Centre Court, battling through a tough contest against German qualifier
Daniel Brands, 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-2. The 22-year-old wild card entry saved all eight break points he faced, converting three of his own to secure victory in two hours and nine minutes.
Norrie, who earned himself a second round berth against compatriot Jay Clarke, said he was pleased with how he tackled his first round match in Eastbourne: “I was trying to focus one point at a time, and it kind of felt like one of the challenger matches at the end of last year where I just toughed it out and managed to play my best tennis towards the end and down the stretch,” he said.
“Today I was pretty instinctive with my play, and volleyed actually really well. I didn’t come in too much, but he’s hitting the ball big and serving big, so it was pretty difficult for me. But when I did come in, I was pretty clinical. It was a good one for me on the grass.”
Murray to face Edmund in all-British clash
The British trio join former world No.1 Andy Murray, who continues his comeback from hip surgery when he takes on British No.1 Kyle Edmund on Wednesday.
Seeking his first competitive victory over Murray, Yorkshireman Edmund said he was enjoying his 2018 Devonshire Park experience. “The conditions have been nice, especially for quick tennis,” said Edmund. “It’s been great weather like this. Every day you can predict the conditions. It’s really nice to play in England in hot weather on the grass. It’s what you want.”
Kvitova continues good run of form
Petra Kvitova backed up her title win at the Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham, last week with a second round win against Kateryna Bondarenko, the No.3 seed easing through to the third round in Eastbourne, 7-5, 6-3. There she will lock horns with 2008 Eastbourne champion Agnieszka Radwanska, who produced some breathtaking tennis to fight her way out of trouble and into the third round 5-7, 7-6, 6-0 over No.15 seed Daria Gavrilova.
The Czech said she was happy to get through her opening match. “I felt the courts are a little bit different compared to Birmingham,” said Kvitova. “It took me a while to get used to the centre court today, but I think it was fine in the end.”
Elsewhere on Tuesday, Mischa Zverev overcame Nicolas Jarry 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to secure a second round assignment against No.7 Steve Johnson. The 30-year-old German said he was looking forward to the match. “I’m feeling good, every win is good helping with your confidence, and I’m happy with the way I played today,” said Zverev. “I’m looking forward to playing Stevie and enjoying the time here in Eastbourne before Wimbledon.”
Top seed Schwartzman opens title bid on Wednesday
Top seed in the men’s tournament, Diego Schwartzman, begins his Eastbourne campaign on Wednesday taking on Lukas Lako. Schwartzman said he was feeling confident ahead of his opening match at Devonshire Park.
“Last year I came here, and I felt well, but I lost the first match despite being up the whole time It was a good experience here in Eastbourne, and now it’s another year and I’m playing better than last year,” said Schwartzman. “I need to train hard here before my first match and get ready for Wimbledon, so this is a really important tournament for me, as I’m trying to improve every year and I think, this year, I’m going to do well on the grass.”
There are a limited number of tickets available for the 2018 Nature Valley International – patrons without a ticket who wish to attend, please contact the box office on 0844 5813015* before making a journey to Devonshire Park, Eastbourne.