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Watson win rouses home crowd at Eastbourne’s Aegon International

Posted on Monday, 17 June by

Heather Watson Aegon International

It was very much a case of ‘Rule Britannia!’ as Eastbourne’s Aegon International turned up the heat, both figuratively and literally, with Heather Watson stealing the show after a straight sets victory in her first round tie.

Watson claimed her victory in convincing fashion, overcoming America’s Varvara Lepchenko 6-3 6-4. While the rankings would indicate the result was something of a surprise, with Lepchenko sitting 30 places above Watson at number 27, home advantage saw the partisan Eastbourne crowd generating the biggest roar of the day for the British number two.

Speaking to press after the match, Watson appeared to thrive on ‘main event’ atmosphere: “I absolutely love it. For me that’s the best thing about playing tennis professionally. Winning a game in front of people on centre court is an incredible feeling and it’s my favourite thing. The second is the free clothes!”

Watson’s win earns her a second round match against Russian world number 38 Elena Visnina, who overcame the odds to earn a shock victory over seventh seed Ana Ivanovic. After steam-rolling the opening set 6-2, Ivanovic couldn’t find any consistency to her game and Vesnina showed considerable heart to fight back and claim a 6-2 4-6 3-6 win.

Elsewhere, 18-year-old British hope Kyle Edmund pleased the crowd with a 6-4 6-4 win over Frenchman Kenny De Schepper. While his opponent didn’t have much to offer, the young Edmund showed impressive composure to claim a memorable win on centre court.

Following his win, Edmund said: “I didn’t think there was any need to be nervous because then I wouldn’t be able to play my game and I’d be walking off thinking I didn’t put everything out there, which is the last thing I wanted. It worked out great.”

His next scheduled opponent is second seed Gilles Simon, although the match is shrouded in doubt after Simon had to be helped from the practice courts this morning with suspected ligament damage.

Sadly, bad news was to come late in the day for Laura Robson when she and her partner, Lisa Raymond, lost their doubles match to top seeds Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebontik. After winning the first set 4-6, the British number one and her American teammate lost the second set 6-4 before falling to defeat thanks to a tiebreak that ended 10-5.

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Corey Pellatt
22-year-old editor of SQ Magazine and Media Studies student at the University of Sussex. Freelance writer for clients including BHAFC.

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