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British fleet fall as the heat rises at Aegon International

Posted on Wednesday, 19 June by

Heather Watson AEGON International

Temperatures reached boiling point at day five of the Aegon International, in a day that saw the end of a British contingent flying the flag in Eastbourne. In the hottest day of the year so far, Laura Robson, Heather Watson, Elena Baltacha and Kyle Edmund were all knocked out, leaving no British representative in the singles quarter final draw.

British #1 Robson fell foul to an accomplished, double-faultless performance from 2009 champion and world #9 Caroline Wozniacki, who won 6-4, 6-4 in just over an hour. In a five game winning streak either side of the set that sealed Robson’s fate, a spirited fightback from her was not enough to set up a quarter final clash against Russian Ekaterina Makarova.

Speaking about her performance, the 19-year-old said: “It was better than when I played her in Paris. I definitely had chances. I got myself into a very good position in the points sometimes and I just couldn’t finish it off.”

Also falling victim to the British curse was Heather Watson, who lost 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 to Russian Elena Vesnina. After the match, the British #2 put the defeat down to losing her concentration at vital moments. “I suddenly switched off and before I knew it I was 5-0 down, it went so quickly. I’ve just got to learn to not do that.”

To complete the clean sweep of British hopefuls, Elena Baltacha was knocked out in straight sets by #6 seed Maria Kirilenko, and Kyle Edmund, an exciting 18-year-old prospect, lost to #2 seed Giles Simon. With Wimbledon just days away, these players will now focus their preparations for success at The All England Club.

Elsewhere, the day also saw a host of top seeds dumped out, including #4 Petra Kvitova and #3 Angelique Kerber. The biggest scalp, however, was #1 seed Milos Raonic, who was beaten in straight sets by World #50 Ivan Dodig. Reflecting on his mental state ahead of Wimbledon after a tough few weeks of tennis for the Canadian, Raonic said: “I can’t play much worse, so it’s only going to get better.”

Jamie Hampton, the only remaining female qualifier in the draw, built on her success over World #4 Agnieszka Radwanska in round one with a straight sets victory over Su-Wei Hsieh. Playing with intensity and focus, when talking to the American about her prospects, she explained: “I’m playing good tennis and I’m trying to keep it one match at a time. This is a premier event, so everybody playing is going to be a tough opponent for me.”

Hampton now faces Lucie Safarova in the quarter finals, after she beat wildcard Samantha Stosur 7-6, 6-3. Hampton, who beat Stosur at this year’s French Open, said she was confident for a repeat performance.

“She plays some really good tennis so I’ll have to be looking to take it to her and be aggressive.”

The singles quarter finals and doubles semi-finals of the Aegon International kick off tomorrow. Take a look at the draw below:

Male Singles:
Feliciano Lopez (Esp) vs Fernando Verdasco (Esp)
Ivan Dodig (Cro) vs Fabio Fognini (Ita)
Andrea Seppi (Ita) vs Radek Stepanek (Cze)
Bernard Tomic (Aus) vs Giles Simon (Fra)

Female Singles
Jamie Hampton (Usa) vs Lucie Safaroza (Cze)
Maria Kirilenko (Rus) vs Yanina Wickmayer (Bel)
Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) vs Caroline Wozniacki (Den)
Elena Vesnina (Rus) vs Na Li (Chn)

Continue to follow @SQMagazine for all the action at the Aegon International.

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