2015 Aegon International

Ex-champ Vesnina tumbles


Elena Vesnina

Elena Vesnina, a former Eastbourne champion, failed to make the main draw after falling to Lauren Davis in a three-set thriller 6-7(4) 6-1 6-3 that lasted 137 minutes.

The Russian world #82 snatched the opening set on a tiebreak after saving a set point on her serve in the 11th game.

With no breaks of serve to force a tiebreak then the contest looked like being tight after Vesnina edged ahead after 68 minutes.

But the Russian fell apart in the second set, slipping up on all four service games and saved one set point become succumbing 6-1 in a quickfire 27 minutes.

Davis fluffed her service game at the start of the decisive set to trail after losing the fifth break point. But she broke Vesnina twice to soar into an unassailable 4-1 lead.

Short rallies and short games followed, with the American collecting all four points without conceding when serving out for the match.

But it was better news for Russian world #41 Daria Gavrilova despite the fans flocking to No.1 Court to see former British #1 Laura Robson.

It turned out to be a shortlived comeback for ex-Junior Wimbledon champion Robson who was destroyed 6-0 6-1 in 59 minutes.

Wildcard Robson, who played her first match on the WTA Tour for 17 months, admitted:

Laura-Robson“I’m not expecting to play my best tennis now, it’s going to take a while. It’s going to take a lot more matches and practice.”

New Zealander Marina Erakovic, Gavrilova’s next opponent, must be quaking in her trainers about the Russian whose debut was overshadowed by the furore by fans and the media to follow Robson. Erakovic accounted for Ukraine’s Lesya Tsurenko 6-2 6-3.

Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS), Irina Falconi (USA), and Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) were among the other players to move into Sunday’s deciding round in qualifying while former champion Elena Vesnina (RUS) fell in the first round to No.12 seed Lauren Davis (USA).

German Tatjana Maria, a shock 7-6(5) 6-7(1) 6-2 winner over compatriot Julia Goerges, faces Australian Jarmila Gajdosova who beat Brit Laura Deigman 6-2 7-5. Other British interest ended for Naomi Cavaday and Emily Webley-Smith at the hands of Romania’s Alexandra Dulgheru and China’s Saisai Zheng respectively.

A trio of Americans – Lauren Davis, Irina Falconi and Christina McHale – moved into the final Qualifying Round, as did Czech Klara Koukalova, Japan’s Kurumi Nara, Romanian Monica Niculescu, Serb Aleksandra Krunic, Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova and Slovenian Polona Hercog.

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