Tara Moore became the first Centre Court casualty of the day after the British #4 was defeated by former Eastbourne champion Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets.
With play not starting until 3.25pm, due to heavy rain on the sleepy seaside resort, it was the Russian who brightened up the day with some explosive shots to claim a 7-5 6-4 victory.
Hong-Kong born Moore became the second Brit to bow out of the tournament after ex-British #1 Laura Robson withdrew during her qualifier against American Madison Brengle. But the 23-year-old, who reached the Aegon Open quarter-finals on the Nottingham grass last week, put up a formidable fight in a marathon match.
The Russian drew first blood by edging the opening set 7-5 and again in the second set had to fight tooth and nail to keep ahead of Moore.
Makarova took one break of service – on the 10th game – to wrap up the contest and progress. And of course Makarova is a familiar face at Devonshire Park’s Centre Court having famously became the first and only player to win the Aegon International as a qualifier.
As a plucky 20-year-old she reached the final without dropping a set then then stunned Belarusian Victoria Azarenka to capture her maiden WTA Tour.
But her success story at Eastbourne included inflicting defeat on five of the world’s top 20 players.
Although she has not been a name that scares opponents on the Tour, Makarova did break into the world’s top 10 in April 2015 and is now serving up a string of impressive results having been on a rollercoaster ride for the past five seasons.
Makarova’s reward is a 2nd Round encounter against world #7 Roberta Vinci. The Italian is the #2 seed, although does not possess a game suited to grass, so Makarova will fancy her chances.
Defeated Moore said: “Every loss is a disappointment, but I have to take the positives and look forward. I’ve improved a lot of things that I needed to and going forward I am really excited about how things can progress for me on the circuit.”
Moore moves on to next week’s Wimbledon as a wildcard and on today’s display – as well as her Aegon Open semi-final run – should not be underestimated.