EASTBOURNE, June 28, 2018
There were mixed results for tournament top seeds Caroline Wozniacki and Diego Schwartzman at the Nature Valley International on Wednesday, while British hopes Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie, and Karolina Pliskova and Denis Shapovalov all advanced on the grass courts of Devonshire Park in Eastbourne.
World No.2 Wozniacki put an end to British No.1 Johanna Konta’s home run, battling past the Eastbourne resident 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. The Dane will face Ashleigh Barty, who was a 6-0 6-4 winner over Su Wei Hsieh on Wednesday, in the next round.
She paid respect to her Australian quarterfinal opponent, who was champion at the Nature Valley Open at the start of the month.
“She plays really well on the grass,” said Wozniacki. “Obviously feels very comfortable and confident on it. She’s a tricky player. Serves very well. Picks her spots. She has that slice that stays low so I’m going to go out there and just try my best.”
Top seed in the men’s tournament, Schwartzman, was toppled by Lukas Lacko in his opening match, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, in a hard fought affair punctuated by sizzling baseline rallies.
Edmund beats Murray
Meanwhile, British No.1 Kyle Edmund halted Andy Murray’s comeback, and secured the first win of his career over the former world No.1, 6-4, 6-4, on centre court.
Tournament second seed Edmund said: “To beat him…it shows I have improved a lot,” said Edmund. “To have that win definitely gives you a lot of confidence and belief (against) someone like Andy.
“I can only play my game and the opponent down at the other end of the court. (I) always try to be realistic, seeing where he’s come from, only third match since coming back. But I can only do what I can do, and that’s play the guy on the other end of the court.”
Murray said he would make a decision about whether or not to play Wimbledon based on whether he felt like “I am able to do myself justice.
“I have made decent improvements the last couple of weeks and obviously have been somewhat competitive in the matches that I have played. But I don’t just want to go out there to just play. I want to be able to compete properly. And if I don’t feel like I can do that, then I won’t play. If I do and physically I feel ready, mentally I’m in the right place, then I’ll go for it.”
Norrie defeats Clarke
The second British winner on day four was British No.2 Norrie, who defeated compatriot Jay Clarke 6-4, 6-3 to earn his quarterfinal spot at Devonshire Park. He said he was feeling confident after his second round match. “It was a very high-level match from the start,” said Norrie.
“We both played really well, and I played well, and closed it out well in the end. I am really happy with my performance and happy to get through that one.”
No.3 seed Petra Kvitova’s withdrawal due to a right hamstring injury provided free passage for former champion Agnieszka Radwanska into the quarterfinals where she will face No.5 seed Jelena Ostapenko, who overcame Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1, 6-2.
Elsewhere, women’s second seed Pliskova beat Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-4, No.3 seed in the men’s draw Shapovalov fought his way through a tight match against Jared Donaldson, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, and No.4 seed in the women’s draw Angelique Kerber booked her place in the quarterfinals with an emphatic 6-1 6-1 victory over American Danielle Collins.